A Maryland police officer has been suspended for shooting disturbing video that shows former NBA player Delonte West incoherently rambling in handcuffs after he was beaten in a highway incident, cops say.
One of two videos circulating on social media shows West sitting on a curb shirtless with his hands in cuffs behind his back as a police officer asks him questions and West, who suffers from bipolar disorder, gives an agitated and jumbled reply.
Prince George County Police say they learned Tuesday that an officer shot that video from the Monday morning incident in Oxon Hill, about 12 miles south of Washington DC, and launched an investigation that led to the cop’s suspension.
In a Tuesday news conference Police Chief Hank Stawinski said the officer accused of releasing that video ‘will be dealt with harshly’ if it’s determined that the cop leaked or posted that footage on social media.
West is a 36-year-old, 6-foot-4 basketball star who played for the Boston Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics, Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks. In 2015 he revealed he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2008.
A Prince George County Police officer has been suspended for shooting video of former NBA player Delonte West (above) rambling incoherently in handcuffs following a fight on a Maryland highway Monday
Police said they learned Tuesday that an officer shot that video of West shirtless, handcuffed, and rambling and launched an investigation that led to the cop’s suspension. Police Chief Hank Stawinski said the officer accused of releasing that video ‘will be dealt with harshly’ if it’s determined that the cop leaked or posted that footage on social media
On Monday morning Prince George County Police officers responded to an altercation on a Washington highway in front of an overpass bearing an exit sign for Maryland state route 210.
Cops said that the argument was between West and a second man who he knew. They got into a physical spat after getting into an argument earlier that morning.
Both men refused medical treatment in the incident and refused to press charges, police said.
A second video, that was not taken by the cop, from the fight shows West being pummeled on a traffic-lined highway by a man wearing a leather jacket.
The former basketball player, a Washington native, appeared to be incapacitated as his assailant stomped on his motionless body. The attack took place in the middle of the road, halting traffic as cars stopped to watch the altercation, but no one intervened.
The video ends with an unidentified victim laying in a heap along the side of the road.
According to police, a female witness claimed the fight began when one man hit the other with a bottle. The other man allegedly responded by repeatedly hitting the first man.
TMZ reported that West prompted the fight by hitting the other man with a bottle multiple times.
When cops arrived on the scene, they saw a man bleeding from the face and ‘made the decision to handcuff’ West.
In the video shot by a police officer West rambles incoherently with his mangled shirt stretched across his lap.
In a pair of disturbing videos that emerged on social media, West is seen being beaten on a traffic-packed highway by a man in a leather jacket. West, who revealed he suffers from bipolar disorder in 2008, is not seen fighting back. Rather, the 6-foot-4 Washington native appears to be incapacitated as his assailant stomps and pummels his motionless body. A row of cars can be seen lining up behind the fracas in front of an overpass bearing an exit sign for Maryland state route 210. Bystanders do not appear to intervene at any point
‘I walking down the street,’ West can be heard saying to police. ‘Then he approached me (inaudible) with a gun.’
The officer speaking with West asks him where his assailant’s gun is.
‘I don’t give a f***,’ West yelled.
After repeating that answer a few times, West can be heard mentioning President Donald Trump’s name before shouting, ‘I’m the real f***ing president.’
His former agent did not immediately respond to the Daily Mail’s request for comment.
Delonte West’s former Saint Joseph’s University teammate, ex-NBA star Jameer Nelson, gave a statement on social media
West’s former Saint Joseph’s University teammate, ex-NBA star Jameer Nelson, and their one-time coach Phil Martelli expressed their concern on social media after the videos went viral.
‘I’m sick today,’ Nelson wrote. ‘Mental illness is something that a lot of people deal with and don’t even know it, until sometimes it’s too late. I’m not sure what exactly is going on with Dwest but he knows I’m in his corner and will help him get through this.
‘Yes, I’ve spoken to him Over the past several months, just trying to be there for him as a friend.’
Nelson ended his statement by pleading for everyone to be respectful.
‘And please be mindful, when you posting vdeos or pictures of somebody,’ he wrote. ‘You may think your (sic) helping but you might be hurting them even more. People have kids and their kids don’t deserve to be embarrassed. Please Pray!’
Martelli, now an assistant coach at Michigan, responded to Nelson’s statement on Twitter: ‘Over the past several hours I have talked with many who are willing to help – please read and embrace Jameer’s wisdom – we are reaching out to our basketball network to get the professional help Delonte needs. This is so very painful.’
CBS Sports’ Seth Davis wrote on Twitter that the incident is indicative of a larger problem in the United States: ‘Just catching up to the Delonte West video. We have a serious mental health crisis in this country, and that begins with the lack of available insurance to cover the costs and access to facilities. I truly hope he gets the help he needs.’
West is a 36-year-old, 6-foot-4 basketball star who played for the Boston Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics, Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks. In 2015 he revealed he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2008
Martelli, now an assistant coach at Michigan, responded to Nelson’s statement on Twitter
A native of Washington, West first made headlines along with Nelson and Martelli on a Saint Joseph’s team that went 27-0 in the 2004 regular season and earned a top seed for the NCAA tournament before losing to Oklahoma State in the Elite 8.
West was then drafted by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft and eventually became a starter alongside LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008.
He continued to bounce around the NBA after that, playing in the D-League and even signing in China, but mental health issues began to overshadow his career.
In 2009 he was pulled over riding a three-wheeled motorcycle, leading police to discover three firearms strapped to his body. He ultimately pleaded guilty to weapon charges and was ordered to undergo psychological counselling, in addition to probation and community service.
In 2016 a photo emerged of him panhandling in suburban Washington D.C., but it was never proven that he was actually homeless at the time.
According to Complex Sports, West was seen wandering around Houston without shoes four ears ago.
West earned over $16 million during his nine-year career, according to HoopsHype.com. It has not been reported that he is having financial problems.