A Huntsville, Alabama police officer is under scrutiny after video of him went viral. The footage showed him stomping on a young Black man with schizophrenia after the man had already been subdued.
The video shows an officer in a struggle with 22-year-old Kemontae Hobbs, when a second officer joined in to restrain his head and shoulders.
The third officer who showed up stomped on the man's leg, yelling "stop resisting!"
You can see news coverage here:
A satire account of the Huntsville Police Department shared the story on Twitter.
More proof of how well trained our officers are here in Huntsville! Sadly, Officer Kickhappy's body camera was put… https://t.co/1CrZLHSMux— Huntsville Police -ish (@Huntsville Police -ish) 1622422588.0
I hear @TommyBattle is already preparing a statement about how we did so super well, and how Officer Kickhappy was just following orders!— Huntsville Police -ish (@Huntsville Police -ish) 1622423306.0
@HSVPolic Review has been sent. This is unacceptable and takes away from the controlled efforts of his fellow offic… https://t.co/mNXW36DeVR— Devyn Keith (@Devyn Keith) 1622426083.0
@HSVPolic As soon as a cop says “stop resisting”, he is about to commit a crime.— Shaun Murie (@Shaun Murie) 1622428017.0
@Godzsoldier23 @HSVPolic @NAACP @AnthonyDaniels Thank you for this.— Rep. Laura Hall (@Rep. Laura Hall) 1622428897.0
Hobbs' own mother found out her son was brutalized by the police by seeing the viral video.
Police failed to contact her or any of Hobbs' family, as is standard procedure when a suspected mentally ill suspect is taken into custody. They charged him with resisting arrest and obstruction of justice, but no other crimes.
All charges appear to be related to police interaction with the mentally ill man, leading many to question why they were trying to subdue him in the first place.
The Huntsville Police Department issued a statement saying the incident was "under review."
"We have viewed citizen-provided video that partially captures the arrest process.
"We understand concerns with use of force techniques used in the arrest and we take these concerns seriously."
Keith Young, the leader of @blmhsv tells @waff48 that HPD contacted the mother of Kemontae Hobbs from a non-emergen… https://t.co/RFhPzY62X6— Kailey Schuyler WAFF 48 (@Kailey Schuyler WAFF 48) 1622584476.0
@HSVPolic They just attacked him and then started abusing him and claim that he was resisting arrest. It's a shame… https://t.co/IYGias3yIt— Youdontknow (@Youdontknow) 1622589156.0
@HSVPolic Stamping on a persons leg full force when that leg wasn’t kicking out or endangering any officer. This is… https://t.co/wBuRh0HDUk— Zeno (@Zeno) 1622550608.0
@HSVPolic This is all they justify killing us and brutalize us. They use the word because they on camera stop resisting.— Don Salmon (@Don Salmon) 1622520266.0
Hobbs' mother, Kimberlyn Hayes, said she will look into options for filing suit against the Huntsville Police Department.
"I'm going to try to sue them."
"I'm going to file a case about the police officer and how they did his leg like that and tased him while he was down, two or three times."
"I want to make sure this doesn't happen in the future to other people."
@HSVPolic What the Hay you doing Officer Kick Happy?— Dr. C. Johnson (@Dr. C. Johnson) 1622435133.0
@HSVPolic @whnt @waff48 @WAAYTV you need to spread the word on this. HPD are out of control.— 🌸 efaya 🌸 (@🌸 efaya 🌸) 1622498021.0
@HSVPolic @wishbumpycoulda So.....kicks/stomps to the knee area which could have caused an excruciating knee injury....horrible— Melanated Male MD 🇺🇲 (@Melanated Male MD 🇺🇲) 1622446692.0
@HSVPolic @MatthewCallaway Alabama law enforcement on a normal day .— Official/UnOfficialActingANTIFAPRESIDENT ! (@Official/UnOfficialActingANTIFAPRESIDENT !) 1622497515.0
Suspects with mental health disorders are 16 times more likely to be killed by the police on domestic calls such as wellness checks or misdemeanors like loitering or trespassing such as the 2017 case of a mentally ill Indigenous man named Zachary Bear Heels.
Bear Heels was handcuffed then punched in the head and tased repeatedly by Omaha, Nebraska police officers. Bear Heels, who was declared dead shortly after being transported to the hospital, was not charged with any crime.
The officers responsible were initially fired, but three of the four were later reinstated with back pay after their police union filed a grievance. None of the officers were convicted of any crime.
These stark statistics are why re-allocating money to mental health services and having non-violent responses to the mentally ill is becoming a greater talking point across the nation.