Fraternal Order of Police reviews HPD and Kemontae Hobbs incident
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) -A Huntsville Police Officer was seen on camera kicking a man who was being arrested at a Mapco on the corner of University Drive and Memorial Parkway in Huntsville on Sunday.
Kemontae Hobbs is the 22-year-old seen being detained by HPD. It is still unclear what exactly led up to the video a barber caught on his Facebook live that has since gone viral. The family’s attorney says panhandling was the reason for police being called to the Mapco on University.
On Sunday, Hobbs was charged with resisting arrest and obstructing government operations. The family’s attorney, Martin Weinberg says the amount of force including being tased used wasn’t necessary.
“For someone who the crime was panhandling or something along those lines, which we understand was the case, there is no way this was an appropriate use of force,” says Weinberg.
WAFF took the video to Everette Johnson, the President of the Alabama Fraternal Order of Police. He says from what we know, it appears the force used is what was needed to get the job done.
“Violence is not a pretty picture to look at, regardless of what is going on. Officers are authorized to use force necessary to make the arrest,” says Johnson.
WAFF has requested security video from MAPCO, but Johnson says regardless it is the citizen’s duty to comply with police.
“Compliance to the lawful orders of law enforcement is necessary, it is just part of it. Your fight with that officer is not on the street. Your fight is in the court.”
It appears the family is prepared to put up a fight in court.
“We are definitely prepared to take legal action,” says Weinberg.
“This is my child, you are beating my child. Literally kicking his leg,” says Kimberlyn Hayes, Hobbs’ mother.
HPD released a statement saying the full incident is under review. Hobbs does have schizophrenia, it is unknown whether HPD knew this at the time of the incident. However, this is just one of the many cases that community members say show our officers need more mental health training.
“Officers need to recognize that and be able to deal with it more appropriately,” says Weinberg.
Hobbs is already out of jail after members of the community raised a little over 800 dollars for bail. This is not his first run-in with HPD. He was arrested in 2020 on the same charge of obstructing government operations during a domestic violence call.
We’ll keep you updated as we learn more about what exactly took place in Mapco before the video started rolling.
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