Daughter claims excessive force used during father’s arrest
by Jessica Loeding
Nov 19, 2013 | 2676 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The daughter of Michael West claims authorities used excessive force when they executed an arrest warrant at his business on Nov. 12 and shown here Monday on Highway 293 in Emerson. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
The daughter of Michael West claims authorities used excessive force when they executed an arrest warrant at his business on Nov. 12 and shown here Monday on Highway 293 in Emerson. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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When law enforcement officers arrested Michael West on Nov. 12, his daughter alleges excessive force was deployed.

Angela West, who did not return an attempt to contact her Monday, told WSB TV last week that surveillance footage from inside her father’s Emerson business showed an officer stepping on his head as he lies face-down on the ground.

The video footage shows agents from the Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force and U.S. Marshals enter the darkened business carrying flashlights. Video shows Michael West come down the interior stairs with his hands raised and gets down on the ground in the space at the base of the stairs. Officers continue clearing and securing the building at which time it appears an officer midway through the procession steps on West’s head.

Bartow County Sheriff Clark Millsap declined to comment on the case. He would not comment on the status of an investigation into the matter.

Task force agents and U.S. Marshals were executing warrants through Emerson Police Department for theft by conversion.

EPD Chief Stan Bradley said last week was the third time the department had arrested Michael West in the past nine to 10 months.

“It’s a pretty in-depth investigation,” Bradley said of the case against West.

West operated a custom camper-top business on Highway 293, which Bradley said he advertised on Craigslist. According to the police chief, West would take down payments for his work but fail to deliver the product.

When EPD arrested West the first time, Bradley said the agency had received 19 complaints. After bonding out, EPD officers confronted West about operating without a business license and continued to receive complaints about bilking people of their money. He was arrested again in early October, Bradley said.

As the investigation continued, Bradley said the department received information that led to the use of U.S. Marshals and DTF agents.

“He made a couple of comments that made our investigator feel ... he was agitated with us,” Bradley said.

Based on that information and warrants outstanding in other counties, the U.S. Marshal service was contacted and, at their request, DTF officers assisted. Emerson police were not inside the business at the time of the arrest.

“We didn’t have anyone who went into the building until he was taken into custody,” Bradley said.

According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, Michael West served more than two years for the sale and distribution of marijuana and violation of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act in Douglas County.

He was arrested following the Nov. 13 incident and charged with two counts of theft by conversion, obstruction of an officer and taking an officer’s weapon.