A Maryland police officer was suspended this week after video of a distressed Delonte West in handcuffs hit the internet.
The video was recorded earlier this week, after the former NBA player was seen getting beaten in the middle of a street. One of the responding officers allegedly filmed his interaction with West as he sat on the side of the road shirtless and in handcuffs. West suggested he did not instigate the fight, claiming he was simply walking down the street when a man approached him with a firearm.
“Why’d you hit him? Did he attack you first? Self-defense? Or did you hit him?” an officer is heard asking in the clip.
“Walkin’ down the street and he approached me with a gun,” West said, before adding at one point, “I’m the real fucking president.”
During a Tuesday press conference, the Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski confirmed the department was conducting an internal investigation regarding the release of the video. Stawinski told reporters the officer who had recorded the interaction had been suspended and “will be dealt with harshly” if the probe determines he was behind the video’s release.
A source says the NBPA was recently in contact with West and has been supporting him. Additionally, the union plans to continue to monitor the situation and will do what it can to assist him.
This is such a sad situation all-around.