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Activists to demand changes within Carlsbad Police Department after controversial arrest

Posted at 8:38 AM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 12:03:12-04

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) -- Several activist groups will gather outside the Carlsbad Police Department on Thursday, demanding change following a controversial encounter between an African-American man and Carlsbad officers last month.

The group will release details on a meeting they had with the Assistant Chief of Police for the City of Carlsbad, Mickey Williams. The meeting was organized to address the use of force and arrest of a Black man by officers on June 11.

The police department previously released a video that juxtaposed three camera angles of the confrontation with the Marcel Cox-Harshaw.

RELATED: Police release body camera footage amid public concerns over officer misconduct

A witness' phone shows officers using a Taser on Harshaw and pressing his head into the pavement. Two other videos from police body cameras show officers meeting paramedics who were called out to a report of a man face down on the sidewalk. Police say that while medics evaluated Harshaw, he became agitated, yelled profanities and began walking quickly toward them.

The department says that officers feared for the medics' safety, so they reached out and told Harshaw to stop, but he continued to yell as they tried to cuff him.

Officers reported that they then used a Taser to subdue him after he continued to yell, struggle, turn and pull away.

Activists dispute the department's account of the night, and they are asking the department to create an oversight board that would include community members, as well as review its de-escalation policy.