FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2023
Morgantown Police Apprehend Domestic Violence Suspect
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The Morgantown Police Department has become aware of a disconcerting video clip circulating on social media, which shows a Morgantown police officer taking an individual to the ground during an arrest. We understand that this video has raised concerns, so we’d like to provide the following facts and circumstances surrounding the incident:
At approximately 11:55 pm on February 2nd, Morgantown Police officers responded to a reported domestic violence incident at Fat Daddy’s Bar & Grill. 911 callers reported that a male was attempting to drag his ex-girlfriend out of the bar against her will. When officers arrived on the scene, they located the involved parties nearby.
The first officer on scene located the suspect, who was later identified as Massinissa Belkadi, a 20-year-old man from Stafford, VA. Belkadi was uncooperative with the officer and refused to answer the officer or comply with his requests. After several moments of refusal to engage with the officer, Belkadi was asked to stand up from his seated position, which he also refused to do.
The officer then lifted Belkadi from his seated position and attempted to place Belkadi’s hands behind his back to be handcuffed. However, Belkadi actively resisted the officer by grabbing the officer’s arm and attempting to turn back toward the officer. The officer responded to Belkadi’s resistance by taking him to the ground, where he could be safely controlled and handcuffed.
When an officer uses any type of force, it is recorded and reviewed by the Deputy Chief to determine if any policy was violated. This includes looking at the incident circumstances and reviewing any body cam footage.
When reviewing the entire incident and taking into account that the officer was within his rights to request information from a suspect in a potential domestic violence incident, and the suspects refusal to cooperate to the point of offering physical resistance to the officer's attempt to place him into custody, we at this time believe that the officer used the appropriate amount of physical force to gain control of the suspect.
Belkadi sustained an abrasion to his cheekbone and forehead as a result of him being taken to the ground. Mon EMS responded to evaluate and treat Belkadi, but he denied any further medical treatment.
Belkadi was charged with obstructing an officer, disorderly conduct, and public intoxication. The investigation into the domestic violence incident Belkadi was involved in is still ongoing.
To read the Morgantown Police Department's use of force policy and procedure, visit this link.