Officer resigns over video showing him punching man in face during takedown

A recently-promoted Carrollton, Georgia, police corporal has resigned after a video surfaced on social media that appears to show him punch a 20-year-old man in the face during a confrontation.

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The cellphone video, which was recorded by a witness, appears to show three officers speaking to Amor Ellison. Five-year department veteran Cpl.. C.J. Meeks is then seen throwing his notepad down on the ground before trying to get Ellison's hands behind his back.

The struggle moves to the ground, where Meeks appears to punch Ellison in the face.

"I tried to turn over, but the way all three of them were trying to handle me, I can barely get over in time, so he punched me," Ellison said. "I had both hands behind my back, and he punched me one more time."

Meeks resigned Thursday before the internal investigation ended.

Police Chief Joel Richards told WSB-TV Wednesday that he opened the internal investigation after he saw the video circulating on social media.

“This is not (a situation) where a formal complaint was actually filed with us. We didn’t wait for that,” Richards said, “Was it coming? Most likely, but it was not formally filed with us. Doesn’t matter. When I saw that video on social media, I knew we had to look into this.”

Ellison told the news station the incident happened outside the Zaxby’s where he used to work, and he was there to pick up his last paycheck. The store’s manager called police at some point, and Ellison said Meeks confronted him and demanded his address.

“At this point, I’m trying to do whatever you all want me to do just so you don’t put me in those handcuffs,” Ellison said. “I don’t care. I’m going to cooperate.”

Ellison was not arrested after the incident, and his family said they plan to sue regardless of the outcome of the department's investigation.

“You just don’t go around bullying people because of the position that you hold, you know,” Natasha McCoy, Ellison’s mother, told the news station.

His family has hired civil rights attorney Harry Daniels, who said that the incident is "just sickening and disgusting."

Richards said his department’s investigation will be quick and transparent. Meeks has been placed on paid leave, which will go into effect next week, since he wasn’t scheduled to work Thursday or Friday.

“We do the right thing for the right reason, and the right thing will be done in this situation,” Richards said.

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