Unfortunately, footage from the police dashboard camera that captured Stuart Fitzgerald's arrest in May 2014 did not pick up much audio, or footage of the tail end of the incident, leaving Virginia authorities without key pieces of information that might corroborate Fitzgerald's claim that he is innocent of the charges that he assaulted two police officers, WUSA9 reports.
The video shows officers from Virginia's Orange County Sheriff's Office stopping Fitzgerald and then putting handcuffs on the 53-year-old. Although the Waldorf, Md., man doesn't appear to be resisting arrest, the officers seem to be having a difficult time getting the handcuffs on him. All of a sudden, one of the officers, Sheriff Mark Amos, appears to put his arm around Fitzgerald's neck and slam his body onto the highway cement.
"I started screaming 'cause I was thinking he's probably gonna, I was thinking something bad's gonna happen," Fitzgerald said. "That's when I started thinking about my boy and my wife and was thinking, 'Am I gonna make it back home?' "
The dashboard camera doesn't pick up footage of Fitzgerald once he's on the ground.
Police arrested him for felony assault, WUSA9 reports. An investigation into the officers' conduct was never launched, and Fitzgerald faces at least 15 years in prison for the charges.
One former FBI official wishes that the audio had been captured in order to paint a fuller picture of what happened that night. "I wish I had sound," Ron Hosko, a former assistant FBI director and the current president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense League, said. "I would have questions about why we ended up on the ground.
"If he was absolutely handcuffed, what was the purpose of the tackle?" Hosko asked.
Fitzgerald maintains that he was in no way trying to resist the cops as he was being arrested. "I definitely was not," Fitzgerald said. " 'Cause I'm not a fool. I'm not going to resist. I'm not going to fight 'em—I know better than that."
According to WUSA9, other officers arrived on the scene during the incident, and none of their dashboard cameras—six in total—picked up video or audio of the incident, either.
Read more at WUSA9.