A harrowing video released on Facebook by a former NFL player prompted community uproar and resulted in the victim, Desmond Marrow, demanding justice in 2018. Years later, his pleas for justice have been met with a settlement and the responsibility of the officer who assaulted him. Marrow earned a record-breaking payout this week. According to CBS 46, the settlement is a record sum for a non-fatal officer-involved use of force lawsuit in Henry County, according to Marrow's lawyers, L. Chris Stewart and Dianna Lee of Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys and Andrea Boyd of the Price Boyd Law Firm.
"We are thrilled that Henry County has opted to settle Desmond Marrow's lawsuit for a record sum for a non-death case. Notably, the officer who strangled Mr Marrow pled guilty to battery, resigned his law enforcement certification, and will never work in law enforcement again – two very unusual outcomes in instances involving the use of force.
"We acknowledge that the majority of police officers uphold their pledge to protect and serve and are important to the community's protection. However, individuals who breach that pledge must face consequences."
David Rose, a former Henry County police officer, pled guilty to a charge of simple assault in connection with his arrest of Marrow in 2020. Rose must spend 12 months probation, take an anger management programme, do 40 hours of community service, and maintain no contact with Marrow as part of his plea agreement. Rose will be unable to reapply for officer positions or have his certification renewed.
Marrow played football at the University of Toledo and also spent one season in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Marrow claims in his complaint that he was wrongfully detained when officers mistook his iPhone for a pistol.
"All I had in my hands was my cell phone, and they professed to be terrified for their life. I was detained for possessing a weapon that turned out to be my cell phone. "During the arrest, the cops knocked out my teeth, banged me on my head, and strangled me till I passed out," Marrow said at the time on Facebook. "I also sustained a shoulder pain and a concussion, as well as the heartbreak of my Wife abandoning me at this very trying period due to my shortcomings and negligent conduct."
As the video demonstrates, officers were leading Marrow to his vehicle as he continually informs them, "I'm not even doing anything." I'm not even retaliating."
Police throw Marrow into the back of a pickup vehicle without provocation, while one of the policemen clutches his leg. Marrow is then slammed against the concrete by the two officers, forcing him to scream in pain. Marrow, clearly enraged that policemen are beating him while he is handcuffed, continues to yell, "I didn't even do anything to y'all!" while officers instruct him to lay down. He then flails slightly in response to the onslaught, causing Rose to continue strangling him.
"I'm having trouble breathing," Marrow moans, struggling to inhale as the officer squeezes his throat.
"Calm down, just relax," another cop advises as if relaxing in handcuffs as numerous armed guys climb on top of you and one of them chokes you is simple. Marrow seemed to be asleep when the cop removed his hand from his neck. "Are you all right?" inquires one of the cops, prodding the detained guy in the shoulder.
"This is ludicrous," a witness is overheard saying.
While the video captures just a fraction of the contact, it seems to have started with a bout of road rage and finished in a Target parking lot. Marrow told police that someone in a black vehicle had thrown a coffee cup at his car as he drove across Interstate 75, and he followed them to "have a talk."
"Marrow said that he was incorrect for pursuing the other automobile and that he should not have pursued," Officer Rose wrote in the report, omitting the fact that he choked him totally. However, Rose was videotaped on his own dash camera gloating about choking Marrow and expressly stating that he intended to cover it up after his arrest.
"I'm not going to write it down, but I choked on that (crap)," Rose said on the dashcam footage.
Following the incident, Chief Mark Amerman put Rose on administrative duty, and two weeks later, the department terminated Rose for the use of excessive force. He was charged in 2019 on allegations of excessive force, perjury, falsifying official documents and writings, and making false claims. Throughout the trial, Rose denied choking him — despite the video and admission — and claimed it was all in good fun. Marrow was charged with Felony Obstruction, Misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct, Reckless Driving, and Aggressive Driving after his arrest. However, in 2019, Marrow pled guilty to minor driving infractions and paid a fine.