ELYRIA, Ohio — WARNING: The video in the players above and below may be disturbing for some. Viewer discretion is advised.
An investigation by the Lorain County Prosecutor's Office has determined that there was no unreasonable or excessive force used by Elyria police in their arrest of Markese White last month.
On September 21, two Elyria police officers tried to speak with 18-year-old Markese White about allegations made by his sister. According to the police reporter, White began yelling and became combative.
Video shot by a bystander shows an officer wrestling White to the ground while others look on. The report confirms the officer, identified as Patrolman Michael Walker, hit White's head on the cement while trying to arrest him.
Court records show White was eventually taken to the Lorain County Jail on multiple charges, including felonious assault, domestic violence, and resisting arrest. Elyria Police Chief Duane Whitley placed Walker on leave and asked the Lorain County Prosecutor's Office investigate the actions of his officer.
"In coming to the conclusion I have reached today, I did not do so hastily," wrote Lorain County Prosecutor J.D. Tomlinson in a release. Tomlinson says his office reviewed three separate video recordings of the arrest, police reports made by the officers involved, the medical report of White from the staffs at the Lorain County Jail and University Hospitals Elyria Regional Medical Center, and a report from an investigator from Tomlinson's office.
"It is only after a careful study of all these materials and the relevant law, and after extensive consultation with all of the personnel studying this matter, that I have resolved the issue of whether in effecting the arrest of Markese White on September 21, 2021, members of the Elyria Police Department used unreasonable or excessive force. I have concluded they did not," Tomlinson stated.
In his report to Whitely, Tomlinson stated that Walker and his partner, Officer Henry Laurendau, faced "two conditions profoundly compromising officer safety" when trying to arrrest White. The first was White's refusal to submit to arrest and "his violent and continued resistance." The second was the growing crowd of people gathering around police as they attempted to make the arrest of White. "While Markese may have suffered the aches and pains attendant to a fight with the police, he was not injured," Tomlinson wrote. "Therefore, it is concluded that Officers Laurendau and Walker used reasonable force to effect the arrest of Markese White."
You can read Lorain County Prosecutor J.D. Tomlinson's full release and full report to Elyria Police Chief Duane Whitely below. WARNING: The report contains graphic language
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