He was supposed to protect and serve. Instead, a DeKalb County police officer has resigned in disgrace after admitting he solicited a bribe and became violent after he noticed someone shooting video of the transaction.
Officer Brandon Brown had just finished working a part-time job at Meskerem, an Ethiopian restaurant and hookah bar on Clairmont Rd., early in the morning on August 5th when an employee told him someone there was smoking pot. Brown confronted the suspect.
“I’m telling you,” Brown said to the suspect, “this is like a $500 ticket.”
“We can work something out,” the suspect replied.
Retelling the story to DeKalb County Police Internal Affairs investigators, Brown admitted he solicited a bribe.
“Fifty dollars, just give me fifty. And I walked away,” the officer said.
But when the suspect tried to leave the restaurant without paying him, Brown followed him into the parking lot and demanded his money. The suspect said he only had $40.00 and tried to hand the cash to Brown. That’s when the officer noticed a woman pointing her cell phone camera at him.
“The (suspect) went out before us,” Katie Brown told an Internal Affairs investigator. “He got in his car. The officer ran out and said, ‘You need to pay me! I want my $50.’ I couldn’t believe it. So my friend was like, ‘Katie, record this.’ By the time I turned on my camera (the officer) was talking about bread or whatever.”
That’s when Brown and the suspect noticed the camera phone.
“The light on my phone came on. He ran up to me and slapped the phone out of my hand,” Water told police.
Brown can be seen in the video rushing over to the woman and knocking the phone to the ground. That sparked a confrontation between the Brown, Water and several of her friends. The next day, one of the women filed a complaint with the department’s Center Precinct.
“What I’ve done was wrong,” he admitted to Internal Affairs.
He cited car expenses, child support and low pay as reasons he solicited the bribe.
Brown has since resigned his badge. Police said his case was forwarded to the district attorney on August 6 for possible prosecution.