Video reveals Georgia cop beat drunk student in head with baton and lied about it
A Georgia police officer lost his job and is facing aggravated assault charges after body camera video showed that he lied about beating an intoxicated teen.
Video obtained by WXIA shows Athens-Clarke County police officer Jonathan Fraser responding to a complaint about a drunken 19 year old, Michael Roquet, in June.
In his police report, Fraser said that Roquet “struck me with his left elbow in my chest” and then “he hit me again with his elbow…. so I struck him [with a baton] in the leg and upper body.”
Fraser said that he then handcuffed and arrested Roquet, who was a student at the University of Georgia.
But the recently-released body camera video convinced prosecutors that it was Fraser who was the aggressor.
In the video, Fraser repeatedly strikes Roquet in the legs with his baton. He then swings the baton and hits Roquet in the head, sending the teen to the ground.
As Roquet is crouched in a fetal position on the ground, Fraser continues to beat him with the baton.
Fraser told investigators that he knew he was wrong to beat the teen, but he said that he had “tunnel vision” while apprehending the suspect.
“You violated… policy,” investigators wrote in their report on Fraser. “You used hard control strikes from an impact weapon… on an individual who was actively resistant, but was not assaultive…. a strike to the head from a baton is considered use of deadly force…. You used more force than necessary.”
Police Chief Scott Freeman called the incident an “unauthorized use of force” that was “completely intolerable, and something we’re not going to put up with.”
Freeman, who took over the department after Fraser was fired, said that he recently learned that the officer had been investigated multiple times for abuse of force over his 18-year career.
“This is extremely disappointing for me to see as the new chief,” Freeman lamented. “Because [what he did] does damage to the reputation of law officers, not only in this community, but across the nation… And we see it time and time again.”
Fraser is facing charges for aggravated assault and for violation of oath by a public officer. He was released after bond was set at $30,000.
Watch the video below from WXIA, broadcast Aug. 11, 2015.