Arrest in Cobb County leads to termination of 2 police officers

Cobb County police are finally addressing an arrest incident that resulted in the termination of two officers.

In a candid conversation with Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Mark Winne, Cobb Public Safety Director Mike Register revealed that during a routine spot-check of body camera footage last year, a supervisor stumbled upon a disturbing video related to an arrest.

In August, Montavious Smith’s arrest triggered an internal affairs investigation, ultimately leading to the termination of officers Nicholas Malagon and Noah Maack.

According to the incident report, the officers allegedly “tackled” the suspect to the ground. However, Internal Affairs Commander Damon Ballard states that there is no evidence on the body camera footage to support this claim.

Smith can be heard asking on the body camera footage, “Why did you all punch me?”

The officers replied, “You didn’t listen.”

According to Ballard, the officers were called to the scene after receiving reports of two groups of individuals aiming firearms at each other in the vicinity of a parking lot at Six Flags Over Georgia.

According to Ballard, the video clearly depicts officers punching Smith, despite the fact that Smith was not resisting them. Ballard further asserts that this action goes against department policy.

“The chief made a great decision to terminate,” Register told Winne.

Cobb County Police Chief Stuart VanHoozer made the decision to terminate Malagon due to his unreasonable use of force and several policy violations. In addition, Maack was fired for including false statements in his incident report, such as claiming that Smith was tackled.

Maack also informed internal affairs that his report was grounded on his own observations as well as information from other sources.

During an interview with internal affairs, Maack can be heard expressing her uncertainty about using the word “tackle.” She acknowledges that there might be a more suitable word to convey her intended meaning.

According to Chief VanHoozer, there were individuals within the department who believed that both officers should not be dismissed. However, he emphasized that he carefully considered the decision, taking into account various factors and approaching it with a prayerful mindset.

The chief also requested the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to assess whether any criminal charges should have been included.

According to the Cobb Solicitor’s Office, Smith is being charged with a misdemeanor drug offense as well as obstruction or hindering law enforcement and tampering with evidence.

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