A Georgia police officer who was seen last week on a TikTok video, tasing and arresting a 22-year-old Black woman has since been fired from his job. According to a press release issued by the Gwinnett County Police Department, Michael Oxford violated department policy and failed to meet its “core values.”
“One of our core values is courtesy. We strive to conduct ourselves in a manner that promotes mutual respect with the community and our peers. The investigation in this case has shown that Officer Oxford violated our policy and did not meet our core values,” the release stated. “For this reason, the employment of Officer Oxford has been terminated as of August 21st.
Last week Oxford was placed on desk duty after the August 18 incident involving him and Kyndesia Smith went viral. The cell phone video, which showed him attempting to detain Smith before tasing her, was seen more than 14 million times.
The Gwinnett County police department said that along with Oxford’s firing, they are also releasing body-camera video to the news media. “We hope that in doing this, it will show that we are committed to building upon the public trust as servants to the citizens of Gwinnett County,” the statement read.
According to a previous release by the Gwinnett police department, Oxford was at the Loganville home where the arrest took place because a neighbor claimed that video surveillance captured another young woman throwing a bottle at her car and threatening her son. When the officer arrived, they say the officer attempted to speak with that woman, identified as Aytra Thomas, but Smith began “yelling at him.” When the officer warned Smith of what would happen if she did not cooperate, Smith continued. He then attempted to arrest Smith, which is what social media users saw on the viral video.
“The police department takes all use of force seriously,” Gwinnett police said in the original statement. “We have a long history of being transparent public servants to the citizens of Gwinnett County.”
For her part, NBC retained police records that show Smith was charged with simple battery against an officer and willful obstruction of law enforcement. She was released last Wednesday.