Officer Arthur Williams has been identified as the police officer caught on video repeatedly punching a civilian on a Baltimore street on Saturday. You can watch video of the beating here and read more about the event here.
The victim’s lawyer, Warren Brown, identified the police officer as Officer Arthur Williams. On August 14, a grand jury indicted Williams on counts of first and second degree assault and misconduct in office. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Here’s what you need to know about Officer Williams:
1. The Victim’s Lawyer Says That He and Officer Williams Had a Hostile Encounter Back in June
Warren Brown is the lawyer representing Dashawn McGrier, the man wearing pink shorts who can be seen getting punched, again and again, outside Q’s Bar and Liquors on Monument Street in the viral video. Brown is the one who came forward to identify Officer Williams as the man punching McGrier in the video.
Brown says that his client had a previous encounter with Officer Williams back in June. There aren’t a lot of details about that encounter. But local media tweeted what they said was a video of the June 26 run-in. The video clip shows an officer pinning a man to the ground; you can watch it here.
After the run-in, McGrier was charged assaulting the officer, disorderly conduct, obstructing and hindering, and resisting arrest. He was released from jail on June 28 and is due back for a court date on August 22. Brown says that his client is being unfairly targeted by Officer Williams, who he said is using McGrier as a “punching bag.”
“It seems like this officer had just decided that Dashawn was going to be his punching bag,” Brown told the Baltimore Sun. “And this was a brutal attack that was degrading and demeaning to my client, to that community, and to the police department.”
2. Officer Williams Is a Rookie Cop Who Graduated With Honors From the Police Academy in April
Williams was hired by the Baltimore Police Department just over a year ago. He graduated from the police academy in April, and got top honors. He was the bearer of “the colors” of the graduating class. And Williams won honors for defense tactics, physical training and emergency vehicle operation.
After the video of the beating went viral on Saturday, Willliams was suspended from the department. His partner, who has not yet been identified, was placed on administrative duty.
3. Williams Went to a Jesuit High School, Where He Played on the Lacrosse Team
Went to Cristo Rey. Great kid in high school. Worked with him on intern program. Played lacrosse and hoops there.
— PTwice216 (@PTwice216) August 12, 2018
Williams was a student at Cristo Rey, a Catholic Jesuit high school in Baltimore. At Cristo Rey, Williams was a star on the school’s lacrosse team, playing midfield.
A write-up of one of Cristo Rey’s games, back in 2012, calls Williams one of the team’s top three players. It says that Williams was headed for college at McDaniel, where he was expected to play baseball and lacrosse on the college’s teams. McDaniel is a private college in Westminster, Maryland.
4. The Baltimore Police Department Said the Officer in the Video Was ‘Familiar’ With the Victim, Even Before the Incident on August 11
The Baltimore Police Department hasn’t released the name of the officer seen beating the civilian on Saturday’s viral video. But the victim, Dashawn McGrier, has come forward, and McGrier’s lawyer has identified the police officer in question as Officer Arthur Williams. He says that McGrier and Williams had already had a hostile encounter back in June.
On Saturday, the Baltimore police department confirmed that the police officer did have a prior ‘familiarity’ with the victim. In a statement, the department said He and his partner were working on an investigation the 2500 block of Monument Street when they came across a civilian whom the police officer knew. They stopped him but released him soon afterwards.
A little later, they encountered the same civilian again, and the first police officer asked him for some information. The man refused, the situation quickly “escalated” into the brutal beating which is captured on the video.
5. McGrier, the Victim in the Video, Says He Has a Fractured Jaw and Other Injuries After His Encounter With Williams
The beating in the video is pretty intense; you can see the police officer landing one punch after another. McGrier, the victim in the video, is knocked to the ground at one point.
McGrier’s lawyer, Warren Brown, said his client was treated at a hospital on Saturday night after the incident. He said McGrier has a fractured jaw and injuries to his eye socket, nose, ribs and left leg.
Brown said that this isn’t the first time that McGrier and Williams have had a hostile encounter. He told reporters that on June 26, McGrier and Officer Williams had a run-in. After that encounter, McGrier was charged with assault, disorderly conduct, obstructing and hindering and resisting and interfering with arrest. He spent two days in jail before being released on June 28. McGrier is still due for a court date in that case on August 22.