UPDATE: A former agent of Delonte West confirmed that the retired NBA star is the man in handcuffs in the video a Prince George’s County Police officer posted to social media, according to news reports. The officer who posted the video has been suspended and remains the subject of an internal investigation.
Aaron Goodwin, West’s former agent, told TMZ Sports that West was the subject of the video that showed him in handcuffs following a fight. He went on to say that West is with his family recovering from injuries he received during the fight and need further assistance.
A representative from the PGCPD public information office told Patch the department could not confirm that the video showed West and that it does not identify victims involved in incidents under investigation.
In high school, West played basketball for Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt. He played basketball for Saint Joseph’s University in college, before going on to an NBA career playing for the Boston Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics, Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks.
West’s former St. Joseph’s teammate posted a message about the video his Twitter account:
— Jameer Nelson (@jameernelson) January 21, 2020
Patch’s Original Story:
LANHAM, MD — A Prince George’s County Police officer has been suspended and remains under investigation after a video believed to have been taken during a police investigation showing a handcuffed individual was posted to social media, according to a police release.
“That action was irresponsible,” said Police Chief Henry P. Stawinski III, in a video press conference Tuesday afternoon. “My information, preliminarily, is that video was taken by a Prince George’s County Police officer who had responded to a call for two individuals engaged in a fight yesterday morning. Let me just cut to the chase and tell our community that that’s under investigation. The individual who we believe to be responsible for taking that video is suspended and the suspect in an internal investigation.”
Stawinski went on to add that if it’s determined the video was taken as evidence in an investigation and it was mishandled by the suspended officer or any other individual, then they would be under investigation as well.
On Jan. 20, at about 9:45 a.m., officers responded to the report of a fight between two men in the 6700 block of Oxon Hill Road in Oxon Hill.
Arriving on the scene, officers determined the two men were no long fighting, but one of them was bleeding from his face. Officers handcuffed the second male as patrol officers began their investigation of the scene.
After speaking to both men, they interviewed an independent witness, who saw both men fighting with each other. The witness claimed the handcuffed man had started the altercation by hitting the other man with a glass bottle. The second man responded by striking the other man. A witness had recorded video of a portion of the fight on a cellphone.
Officers learned that the two men knew each other and had been involved in a separate dispute earlier in the day. The second man had spotted the handcuffed man later walking on Oxon Hill Road. Police requested emergency medical assistance, but both men refused treatment or transportation to a hospital.
PGCPD detectives arrived on the scene, interviewed witnesses, reviewed the cellphone video and spoke to both men. Neither of the men chose to press charges and they both refused to cooperate with the detectives. After a 45 minute on-scene investigation was completed, both men were released and advised they had a year and a day to press charges against each other through a district court commissioner.
On Jan. 21, at 12:15 p.m., PGCPD learned that video of the man in handcuffs recorded by a police officer was posted on social media. The circumstances surrounding the video and its release are part of an internal investigation.
According to Stawinski, the video shows only a portion of the altercation and may misrepresent what one witness described as a very protracted fight.
“That person who was the aggressor was the individual you see on the ground,” he said, describing the video in question. “Now that’s contradicted entirely by the video, and I know my community is going to be troubled when it sees that video. I’m troubled by these events as well. The video shows one person on the ground and the other person as primarily the aggressor.”
Stawinski said that after detectives had interviewed both men and the witnesses and viewed the video, they were unable to determine who was primarily responsible for the fight.
“The independent witness provides one perspective of who was primarily responsible. The video tends to point in another direction,” he said.
Stawinski has directed detectives to follow up with both of the men involved in the altercation. In addition, he asked PGCPD’s mental health capacity to reach out to the two men and offer assistance.
“I’m troubled by this video,” Stawinski said. “I’m particularly troubled by the fact that it appears to have been taken by a Prince George’s County Police officer and released to the community. I’m troubled by what I see in the citizen’s video. But I also have to weigh that against the statements of an independent witness.”
This remains an ongoing investigation.