A Carrollton police corporal resigned Thursday amid an internal investigation into his use of force after a video surfaced on social media that appears to show him punch a 20-year-old man in the face.
Cpl. C.J. Meeks, a five-year department veteran, resigned before the investigation into the incident ended, Police Chief Joel Richards confirmed in a news release.
“Prior to the completion of the investigation, the officer involved, Cpl. CJ Meeks, resigned and is no longer employed by the Carrollton Police Department,” Richards said in a statement. “We take these matters very seriously, and we will always strive to maintain public trust.”
Meeks was among three officers who are seen speaking to Amor Ellison outside a Zaxby’s on South Park Street in the cellphone video, which was recorded by a witness.
The video shows Meeks throw his notepad on the ground before trying to get Ellison’s hands behind his back. Meeks appears to punch Ellison in the face once the struggle moves to the ground.
“I tried to turn over, but the way all three of them were trying to handle me, I can barely get over in time, so he punched me,” Ellison told Channel 2 on Wednesday. “I had both hands behind my back, and he punched me one more time.”
Ellison was at the restaurant to pick up his last paycheck when the store’s manager called police for an unknown reason. Ellison was not arrested after the incident.
His family told Channel 2 on Tuesday they plan to sue regardless of the outcome of the department’s investigation. They have hired civil rights attorney Harry Daniels, who told the news station that the incident is “just sickening and disgusting.”
Zachary Hansen, a Georgia native, covers economic development and commercial real estate for the AJC. He's been with the newspaper since 2018 and enjoys diving into complex stories that affect people's lives.