Valdosta Today shared video footage released from the Valdosta Police Department of a drug bust that occurred Monday, May 9th at the Ora Lee West housing project. Local news reports are in sync with police reports highlighting “a crowd of people attempting to interfere with the arrest of another suspect.” The video footage shared online was taken from the city-wide camera system. The video lacks audio, has several obvious cuts, and when compared to a different video, now circulating the internet of a woman being arrested while standing in front of her house, suspicion raises as to why five additional people were arrested and charged with Obstruction of an Officer.
This wouldn’t be the first time in Valdosta where video footage surfaces showing an officer conducting a wrongful arrest. Earlier this year in March, we reported on a Valdosta City police officer who arrested a college student during a routine traffic stop. The college student was a passenger in the car and arrested for “interfering with an investigation” by not handing over her license.
A total of seven arrest were made during the drug bust at the Ora Lee housing projects. Officers arrested DeAnothony Motes for Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute (Felony) and Willie Roberts for Possesion of Marijuana (Misdemeanor). However, the five other individuals arrested were charged with Obstruction of an Officer (Misdemeanor).
In the video taken from the city-wide camera system, viewers can see a growing crowd of people involving themselves. However, because of the lack of audio and obvious cuts, how can one be clear the officers delivered an accurate recount of the events that occurred? The footage shows more police officers arriving on the scene and never once are the officers shown being attacked. Thirty-nine seconds into the video however, the first cut occurs jumping to footage of one officer groping what appears to be the main suspect and violently slamming him to the ground.
Anthony Eady was one of the additional arrest and taken into custody Tuesday, the day after the Ora Lee West drug bust. Eady “was identified using video footage.” The arrest of Eady and Kenyatta Johnson, who we believe was filmed in the second video circulating the internet, raises the bigger question as to why is it that easy for police to make an arrest by simply slapping an often inaccurate charge of “obstruction of justice” or “interfering with an investigation” to a person?
Video footage obtained by Valdosta Today from the Valdosta Police Department.
We do not condone or promote the illegal actions which took place. However, it is not “interfering with an investigation” when American citizens record officers or anyone for that matter doing their job. Police use the charge “obstruction of justice” as a power move which increasingly has become a misuse and abuse of their power.