A video appearing to show ex-NBA guard Delonte West in handcuffs that circulated on social media has resulted in the suspension of a Maryland police officer Tuesday.
Two distressing videos of West appeared on social media Monday. One of those videos showed West incoherently ranting and raving to a Prince George’s County police officer while in handcuffs and sitting on the sidewalk. Police said an officer was suspended for circulating the video online.
“Today at 12:15 pm, we learned the video that is currently on social media depicting the male in handcuffs was recorded by a Prince George’s County Police officer,” officials said in a statement Tuesday. “The circumstances surrounding the recording and release of that video are now the subject of an internal investigation. That officer is now suspended pending the outcome of this investigation.”
A separate video showed West in an apparent altercation on a street in Oxion Hill, Md., outside Washington, D.C.
Police said they spoke to both men and a witness about the altercation. Police said the witness told responding officers that the handcuffed man hit the other man in the head with a glass bottle – that’s when they fight escalated. Police said the two men knew each other.
“Prince George’s County Police detectives were called to the scene by patrol officers. The detectives spoke to the independent witness, reviewed the portion of the altercation that was recorded on cell phone by an independent witness, and spoke to both men. They both refused to press charges against each other and refused to cooperate with detectives. No weapons were recovered,” officials said.
Prince George’s County police didn’t identify West as the man in the handcuffs. But former teammates, NBA players and others identified the person as the former NBA guard.
West’s former St. Joseph’s University basketball coach, Phil Martelli, said he was seeking help for West after watching the videos.
“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.,” he tweeted.
West, a D.C. native, was a star guard at St. Joseph’s University before the Boston Celtics selected him with the No. 24 pick of the 2004 NBA Draft. He then played for the Seattle Supersonics, Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks before falling out of the league after the 2011-12 season.