REFORM, Ala. — An Alabama police officer is on leave after a video circulating on social media showed her appearing to shock a handcuffed and compliant man with a stun gun and telling him to shut up after he screamed in pain.
The video shows a white female police officer shocking a black man after handcuffing him and leaning him against a car.
In the 45-second video clip, which went viral, the handcuffed man does not resist and tells the officer he has a gun. She picks it up and places it on the hood of the car, saying, “Oh yeah.”
He asks her, “Why do you say 'Oh, yes'?”
She then appears to shock him with the stun gun against his back and tells him to be quiet.
“Oh, my God,” he exclaims and continues to roar.
'Do you want it again? … You were big and bad,” she says before using profanity to tell him to shut up.
Friends and family said the man, identified as 24-year-old Micah Washington, was changing a tire with others on the side of the road when the officer approached them.
Mayor Melody Davis and Police Chief Richard Black sent a statement Monday saying the officer has been placed on administrative leave and that they have requested a state investigation.
“The Reform Police Department is aware of a video circulating regarding the arrest of a citizen on December 2, 2023. The department is in the process of turning over all materials related to this arrest to the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation and has requested a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the arrest,” the statement read.
The mayor and police chief referred questions to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. An email to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency was not immediately returned. The statement from the mayor and police chief did not mention the officer's name. Court documents filed in connection with Washington's arrest identified the complainant as Dana Elmore and listed a number for Reform City Hall. The Associated Press could not reach Elmore for comment.
Reform is a city of about 1,495 residents located about 30 miles northwest of Tuscaloosa.
A crowd gathered outside Reform City Hall on Monday evening to protest the use of force.
“She groped him in the back and she held him down. She just held him there until he started crying,” Washington's girlfriend Jalexis Rice told WVTM. She said Washington and two others were changing a car tire.
“When I saw it, I couldn't do anything but cry,” Rice said of the video. “I couldn't do anything but cry.”
Court records show the investigator signed a complaint accusing Washington and another man of trafficking in fentanyl, but prosecutors dropped the charges Monday after “further testing” showed the substance was not fentanyl. They were also charged with resisting arrest, interference with a government operation and possession of marijuana.