Body camera footage obtained by The Times shows a Gainesville woman being slammed by an Oakwood Police officer during an arrest.
The police chief said an initial review of the case shows the arrest and actions were justified, but the officer is on paid administrative leave as they continue investigating the complaint.
Annie Lloyd, 36, was arrested after an incident around 11 p.m. Sept. 24 at Phenom Ink on McEver Road and charged with misdemeanor obstruction and public drunkenness.
Lloyd said she and a friend went for tattoos at the shop and were drinking at the shop after hours. The Gainesville woman said she was intoxicated to the point that she should not drive.
Lloyd said her friend was insistent on leaving. After some argument, Lloyd said the friend slapped her on the face and grabbed the keys to Lloyd’s car.
Lloyd called the police, who responded to the tattoo shop. In body camera footage obtained by The Times, Lloyd is slurring her words and is unsteady on her feet as she is approached by a pair of officers.
On the body camera footage, Lloyd tells the officers she does not want to press charges but that she needs it “on record.”
After speaking with Lloyd, Officer Timothy Holbrook speaks with Heath Migliore. Migliore said Revenant RC’s clubhouse shares a parking lot with Phenom Ink, and Migliore was there celebrating his birthday.
While talking with Migliore, Holbrook tells Lloyd repeatedly to stay away from the other witnesses.
"You can go sit over there or I'm going to take you to jail for obstruction,” Holbrook said. “... You want to go to jail or do you want to go home tonight?"
The video below contains graphic language.
Watch: Bodycam footage shows arrest of Gainesville womanBodycam footage from Oakwood police on Sept. 24.
The conversation went in circles, as Lloyd said she was a victim and Holbrook repeatedly tried to get her to stay away from the other witnesses.
"I don't want to take you to jail. You seem like a pretty good person, but go stand over there before I take you to jail,” Holbrook said.
Lloyd told The Times that she did not want her friend to drive her car, because the friend had also been drinking. An officer, however, performed a field sobriety test and determined that the friend was safe to drive.
The friend claimed she was grabbed first before she slapped Lloyd, according to the body camera footage.
The officers asked Lloyd to get a ride-share, to which Lloyd said she had money for one.
Lloyd told The Times that she didn’t want to get a ride-share because she was too drunk to be in one by herself.
Lloyd then asked if her friend could drive.
“Can y’all go home and be in peace?” the officer asked.
“No, I’m probably going to f— her up before I get home,” Lloyd said.
The officers reiterated that Lloyd needed to call someone to come pick her up and that they did not want to arrest her. Lloyd asked for the officer to take her home.
“I’m not going to take you home,” Holbrook said. “I take people to two places: the hospital and jail.”
Holbrook repeatedly said he wanted Lloyd to get a ride home and that she was being uncooperative.
“I said, ‘Why are you trying me when I’m the effing victim?’ and I did cuss at him,” Lloyd said. “As soon as I said that, he picked me up by my waist and body slammed me.”
The body camera footage showed that Holbrook told Lloyd to turn around, and Lloyd started taking a few steps away from Holbrook. At that point, Holbrook grabbed Lloyd and took her to the ground.
Lloyd was treated for her injuries at the hospital.
In the police report, Holbrook wrote that he told Lloyd she was under arrest and that Lloyd pulled away from her. Holbrook said he grabbed Lloyd around the waist and “placed her on the ground into a prone handcuffing position,” according to his report.
Holbrook wrote he felt he needed to use force because Lloyd could hurt herself if she got away. The officer also said Lloyd’s resisting arrest showed she could possibly get into a fight, “placing officers at risk using a higher level of force.”
Phenom Ink owner Kendrick Swain said he witnessed the original argument inside the tattoo shop but was inside looking through the cameras at the time of Lloyd’s arrest.
Swain said he felt that Lloyd, given her size, could not have posed a threat that warranted the force used on her.
Of what he witnessed, Migliore said he felt officers were being professional and trying to get her to comply. Migliore said he did not see the arrest.
“I don’t care if it’s a police officer or a citizen: If I saw somebody taking advantage of someone or doing something they shouldn’t do, I would definitely be the first one ringing the bell,” said Migliore, who previously worked in law enforcement.
Photos shared by Lloyd after the incident showed a large black eye and bruises across the right side of her face. Lloyd described the incident as “traumatizing.”
Later on, one of the officers said, “I didn’t know he was going to do that.”
“She did pull away from him,” the officer continued.
When describing the incident to a member of Hall County Fire Services, Holbrook said he gave Lloyd multiple options to get home before telling her she was under arrest.
“She went a lot faster than I thought she would,” Holbrook said, apparently describing the takedown.
Oakwood Police Chief Tim Hatch said his department reviewed the incident because of the use of force and determined that the arrest was justified.
“Because of her attempt to get away from the officer as he was trying to handcuff her, she did put it into a situation where there was a level of force that was justified,” Hatch said.
A complaint was filed on Friday, Oct. 7, which will lead to another investigation. The question in reviewing the complaint, Hatch said, is whether the amount of force used was justified or reasonable.
Hatch said Holbrook is on paid administrative leave as of Friday, and the chief did not want to comment on the case because of the ongoing investigation.
Hatch said it is always the department’s goal to resolve situations without using force.
One of the officers said on the body camera footage that the officer “molly whopped her ass.”
The Times asked Hatch if the department had addressed some of the comments made by officers heard on the body camera footage. Hatch said the investigation into the complaint is contained to the complaint of alleged excessive force.
“There’s always ways that we can take a situation and learn from it and try to do better the next time,” Hatch said. “I imagine that there will be an after-action review with the officers that were involved, and potentially it could be a learning experience not just for them but for the whole department.”