A video provided to TheGeorgiaVirtue.com shows a woman being forcefully taken to the ground by a police officer who later misrepresented why he did so in his supporting report.
The incident happened on November 2 in the City of Sylvania in Screven County when police responded to a domestic dispute. A woman was at the residence for what she says was visitation with her adopted son. According to the homeowners, the minor was not present at the residence and they wanted her trespassed from the property.
Note: The video is available in its entirety at the bottom of this article. It is, in total, 16:22 long. A clipped version is used to illustrate the ‘incident’ part of the video as it pertains to this article. The clipped video begins with the officer approaching the scene.
Corporal Jonathan Simpson exits his patrol car and walks up to a house on Plum Street. A woman is seen standing in front of the door and is speaking in his direction. She explains why she is there, for visitation with her adopted son, and Simpson tells her he will speak with her after he speaks with the homeowner, who reportedly made the 911 call.
“If you just wanna hang out with him [another SPD officer] for a second, I’ll go talk to them real quick,” he tells her.
Simpson speaks with the homeowner for approximately 15 seconds when he begins yelling at the woman from across the yard. As he makes his way toward the woman and the other officer, the woman can be seen on Simpson’s body camera calmly speaking to the other officer.
“Hey, listen! We’re not gonna play this shit. Listen to what we’re telling you to do or you’re gonna go to jail. Go over there and stand in front of the car.”
In a matter of eight seconds, the situation escalates.
The woman attempts to speak to Simpson, at which time Simpson raises his voice and says, “I DON’T CARE. GO – stand in front of the car. I’m not gonna tell you again.”
She replies, “You’re not going to talk to me like that.” The woman is standing with her arms folded loosely in front of her body.
“Do you wanna go to jail? Is that what it is? Then get the f*ck over there. We’re…were… are gonna go stand there.”
She replies again, “You will not talk to me like that,” at which time Simpson grabs the woman and shoves the woman toward the car. The woman pulls her arm back, toward her body, from being shoved by Simpson, and starts moving in the direction of the vehicles. Simpson grabs her, says “Now you’re going to jail, you’re going to jail” and takes the woman to the ground. “Give me your f*cking hands,” he tells her.
He tells the woman she is under arrest and not to resist. The woman replies that she is going to report him for throwing her to the ground, to which Simpson says, “You just hit me. On body cam.”
The woman’s hands are visible in the body camera at all times before Simpson took her to the ground and at no time does the video reflect that she made contact with him by ‘hitting’ him.
WARNING: Video contains explicit language
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Video Conflicts with Initial Report by Officer
According to the Initial Incident Report released to TheGeorgiaVirtue.com by the Sylvania Police Department, Simpson wrote his report the same day of the incident. In the report dated November 2, 2023, Simpson says:
“I then asked her [the woman] if she could step over in front of my car because she wasn’t on the property, and she disregarded me,” when he’s referencing his first contact with the woman.
The video, however, shows Simpson telling her to “hang out with him” for a second, as he motions to the other officer. The woman complied with this command.
Simpson also noted in his report that he ‘gently’ put his hand on her “in effort to escort her to the front of my patrol car” and she snatched away.
The video clearly shows Simpson’s first contact with the woman as considerably more aggressive than ‘gently.’
Simpson’s report says the woman “swung at me and hit me in the front of my vest.” The video, however, shows that at no time did the woman ‘swing’ at Simpson.
Charges Against Woman Pending
According to the Initial Incident Report, Simpson charged the woman with Disorderly Conduct and misdemeanor Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer. She was taken to the Screven County Jail where she was booked on those offenses.
Under Georgia law, the charges have the following definitions and punishments:
Disorderly Conduct – OCGA § 16-11-39
A person commits the offense of disorderly conduct when such person commits any of the following:
- Acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person whereby such person is placed in reasonable fear of the safety of such person’s life, limb, or health;
- Acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person whereby the property of such person is placed in danger of being damaged or destroyed;
- Without provocation, uses to or of another person in such other person’s presence, opprobrious or abusive words which by their very utterance tend to incite to an immediate breach of the peace, that is to say, words which as a matter of common knowledge and under ordinary circumstances will, when used to or of another person in such other person’s presence, naturally tend to provoke violent resentment, that is, words commonly called “fighting words”; or
- Without provocation, uses obscene and vulgar or profane language in the presence of or by telephone to a person under the age of 14 years which threatens an immediate breach of the peace.
This is a misdemeanor offense with a maximum punishment of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer – OCGA § 16-10-24 is defined as a person who knowingly and willfully obstructs or hinders any law enforcement officer… in the lawful discharge of his or her official duties. It is also a misdemeanor offense with a maximum punishment of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Her charges will be adjudicated in Screven County State Court.