Morgantown officers used appropriate force when taking a suspect to the ground during an arrest
The Morgantown Police Department says one of their officers used appropriate force when taking a suspect to the ground during an arrest last week.
Just before midnight on Thursday, Feb. 2, MPD said officers responded to a reported domestic violence incident at a bar on Chestnut St. in Morgantown after 911 callers said a man was trying to drag his ex-girlfriend out of the bar against her will.
When officers arrived on the scene, they were able to locate those involved, including the suspect, 20-year-old Massinissa Belkadi, of Stafford, Virginia.
Authorities said Belkadi was uncooperative with police and refused to answer or comply with the officer’s requests.
After several moments of refusing to engage with the officer, Belkadi allegedly refused to stand up when he was asked to. Officers then reportedly lifted him from his seated position in an attempt to arrest him.
The MPD said Belkadi “actively resisted the officer by grabbing the officer’s arm and attempting to turn back toward the officer.”
The officer responded to Belkadi’s resistance by taking him to the ground to be safely controlled and handcuffed, authorities said.
When an officer uses any type of force, it is recorded and reviewed by the Deputy Chief to determine if any policy was violated, according to the MPD. This includes looking at the incident circumstances and reviewing any body cam footage.
When reviewing the entire incident and taking into account that the officer was within his rights to request information from a suspect in a potential domestic violence incident, and the suspect's refusal to cooperate to the point of offering physical resistance to the officer’s attempt to place him into custody, the MPD believes “that the officer used the appropriate amount of physical force to gain control of the suspect.”
Authorities said Belkadi sustained an abrasion to his cheekbone and forehead as a result of him being taken to the ground.
Mon EMS responded to evaluate and treat Belkadi, but he denied any further medical treatment, officers said.
Belkadi was charged with obstructing an officer, disorderly conduct, and public intoxication.
The investigation into the domestic violence incident Belkadi was involved in is still ongoing, the MPD says.