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CPD responds to video claims of excessive force
Body cam

Editor's note: The following contains video footage that may be disturbing to some.

Breona Bell
Breona Bell

COVINGTON, Ga. - Covington Police Department is responding to claims of excessive force after a cellphone video went viral showing a local mother in an altercation with police. 

According to a CPD news release, Covington officers responded to a vehicle lockout May 9 at 8175 Collier St. in Covington. 

"The officer was unable to locate the vehicle owner and dispatch was unable to reach them via telephone, but the officer later made contact with the complainant, Ms. Breona Bell," CPD reported. "It was known to officers that Ms. Bell had outstanding warrants on her for probation violation in both Covington, Georgia and Gwinnett County, Georgia."

When advised of her warrants, Bell immediately began to say, "I can't do that."

"The officer attempted to have Ms. Bell relinquish her children to a friend who was originally identified as an aunt who was in a nearby vehicle," according to the release. "Ms. Bell attempted to get into the friend’s vehicle and dropped her 7-month-old baby on its bottom; the baby did not suffer any injuries.

"The officer continued to give Ms. Bell instructions to give the baby to her friend and she continued to resist. Her friend was telling her to give her the baby during this incident, but Ms. Bell stated, 'No I'm not fixing to go to jail *explicit removed.*'" 

Bell reportedly attempted to close the door as the officer was standing in the doorway and her aunt took custody of the child. 

"Ms. Bell then attempted to exit the vehicle and push the officer away," according to the release. "At this point, the video shows Ms. Bell beginning to have a wardrobe malfunction with her pants. As the officer continues to struggle to handcuff Ms. Bell, her pants fell to her feet. 

"The officer continued to instruct Ms. Bell to 'give up' and place her hands behind her back to be restrained; Ms. Bell continued to fight with the officer. Ms. Bell was forced to the ground and the officer continued to rustle with her in an attempt to handcuff her but was still unable to do so. The officer continued to give verbal instructions, but Ms. Bell failed to cooperate."

A few moments later, backup arrived and Bell was handcuffed. 

"The officers then raised her to her feet and her wardrobe malfunction was corrected," according to the release. "Ms. Bell was checked by EMS to ensure that she received no injuries in the scuffle. She was then transported to the Newton County Detention Center."

In addition to the outstanding warrants, Bell is also being charged with obstruction of an officer and cruelty to children.