Video shot in a Riverdale Wal-Mart parking lot shows officers punching Derrick Barber on Wednesday. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

Officers punch man during arrest in Wal-Mart parking lot

A witness says he captured a case of police brutality on his cellphone camera outside a Clayton County Wal-Mart.

Police said they did nothing wrong in the video Ron Malone shot Wednesday morning, when two officers sat on top of Derrick Barber and punched him during an arrest, according to Channel 2 Action News.

One officer can be heard saying, “Give me your hands,” in the Riverdale Wal-Mart parking lot where the 45-year-old suspect had allegedly been selling lawn equipment earlier.

A Wal-Mart loss prevention officer called 911 to report two leaf blowers stolen, according to the police report. Barber was carrying a leaf blower and a chainsaw when police arrived. He ran when he saw the officers.

Malone said he turned the camera on himself to record his reaction and disbelief.

“If I’m on the ground, how can I show you my hands when I got a 200-pound guy on top of me?” Malone asked Channel 2.

Riverdale assistant police Chief Michael Reynolds said the officers didn’t violate policy. He called the punches “compliant strikes,” and Reynolds described the hits in an interview with Channel 2 as soft punches.

“If you’re on top of me, I can still get my hands if I want to,” Reynolds said.

Officer Benjamin Peace wrote, “I had to use hard hand compliance techniques towards his abdominal and core until he gave me his hands” in the police report.

After Barber was arrested, police discovered the leaf blowers and chainsaw were stolen from Home Depot.

Barber has been released from jail but faces a felony charge of police obstruction and charges of possession of drug-related objects and false identification documents.

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