WARNING: The video in this story contains explicit language.
UPDATE: 2/6/2023, 5:22 p.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) – The Morgantown Police Department has released bodycam footage of an arrest that included a use of force. A tweet that included video of a portion of the incident went viral on Twitter.
In a release sent Monday, police said that Massinissa Belkadi, 20, who was arrested in the viral video, was a suspect of domestic violence after he allegedly tried to drag his ex-girlfriend out of a bar against her will. Police said that after investigating, the department believes that the “officer was within his rights” and “used the appropriate amount of physical force to gain control of the suspect.”
The police department sent the bodycam video to 12 News just hours after the original release.
In the video, Belkadi can be heard telling the officer “no” several times, and when he is being put into handcuffs, he says, “I’m literally not doing anything,” and tells officers several times that a bystander is recording the arrest.
Details from the original release are below, the footage can be viewed in the player above, and a muted version of the footage is available in the player below for those who choose to watch without explicit language.
ORIGINAL: 2/6/2023, 3:04 p.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Morgantown Police Department said the man who was taken to the ground in a video circulating social media was a domestic violence suspect.
The video was shared on Twitter by a West Virginia activist with a “Police brutality / violence” trigger warning, and it was described as “unacceptable” in the tweet. The video shows the moment that the officer took the man to the ground, but did not show what happened beforehand.
On Monday, the Morgantown Police Department sent a press release addressing the situation. It said that the incident happened at around 11:55 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2 when officers responded to a reported domestic violence incident at Fat Daddy’s Bar & Grill.
The 911 center was told that a man was trying to drag his ex-girlfriend out of the bar against her will, according to the release.
Police say the suspect was identified as Massinissa Belkadi, 20, of Stafford, Virginia, and that he refused to comply with the responding officer’s requests, including a request to stand up.
That’s when, according to the release, the responding officer lifted Belkadi from his seat and attempted to place his hands behind his back to handcuff him, but Belkadi grabbed the officer’s arm and tried to turn back toward the officer.
The officer took Belkadi to the ground at that time, according to police, so that he could be safely handcuffed.
The Morgantown Police Department said it reviewed the incident circumstances and body camera 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 suspects refusal to cooperate to the point of offering physical resistance to the officer’s attempt to place him into custody, we at this time believe that the officer used the appropriate amount of physical force to gain control of the suspect.Morgantown Police Department Press Release
Belkadi did sustain abrasions to his cheekbone and forehead when he was taken to the ground and was evaluated and treated by Mon EMS, but he denied any further medical treatment, according to the release.
Belkadi was charged with obstructing an officer, disorderly conduct, and public intoxication in connection to the incident that went viral. The domestic violence incident is still under investigation, according to the release.
Belkadi was not listed on the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s website as of Monday afternoon.
The Morgantown Police Department has all of its use of force policies and procedures available online.