Malik McDowell is 6 feet, 6 inches tall and he weighs 300 lbs. His arresting officer was between 5’ 5” and 5’ 7” and around 150 lbs. More on this shortly. But first some history on McDowell.
He was a 2ndround pick of the Seattle Seahawks in the 2017 NFL Draft. An ATV accident prior to his rookie training camp has kept him off the field for the past two seasons. The Seahawks cut him and are currently suing him for failure to repay nearly $800,000 in signing bonuses as order by an arbitrator and agreed to by McDowell.
He has been in trouble before. Here is a brief timeline:
December 2017: Arrested in Atlanta, Georgia for disorderly conduct for a two-phased confrontation at a nightclub. On this evening, McDowell was asked to leave a nightclub after he had already been contacted once by police. Upon exiting the club, he berated the officers at the scene, cursing at them. Officers struggled to then subdue the larger McDowell.
“I repeatedly had to give him instructions and at one point he threw himself down on the ground in a tantrum,” one of the officers wrote in the report. “He immediately accused me of stealing money from him, while I began to search his person, before placing him inside my vehicle, as we are trained to do. I tried to reason with him but to no avail.”
During his arrest, he can be heard on video calling multiple officers denigrating names and letting them know that he has money and can speak to them however he wants to. TV tabloid TMZ Sports obtained the body camera video of the arrest and the subsequent conversation at the station.
February 2018: Convicted of drunk driving in Royal Oak.
February 2019: McDowell was arrested and charged in Lathrup Village, Michigan, with felony assault of an officer and felony resisting arrest. It is this part of the timeline that we will focus on. But one more to establish a pattern.
April 2019: McDowell was charged with receiving and concealing stolen property. McDowell claims to have purchased a truck from a guy on the street and had no idea that the vehicle was stolen. It was a 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor, valued at $74,000. McDowell claimed that he purchased it for $3,000, but he did not know the name of the man he purchased it from and had no paperwork.
Now, back to the February altercation.
McDowell was stopped for speeding and ultimately losing control of his vehicle. During the stop, captured on in-car video, the officer repeatedly gave instructions to McDowell and he ignored them. He kept asking for a supervisor. The officer finally radioed for backup and told McDowell to sit tight. Instead, he leaves his vehicle to go inside the gas station. The officer then tries to detain him. The larger man drags the cop into the store.
They wrestle for several seconds, knocking over displays and causing quite a bit of damage, as seen in the video obtained from the store’s surveillance system. Once the officer finally has McDowell on the ground, he still refuses to comply with instructions. The officer gives multiple opportunities for McDowell to comply while threatening to hit him with the taser. After multiple refusals to comply, the officer deploys the taser. It only incapacitates him for a few seconds. He then pulls the prongs from his chest and rushes the officer. After a few more seconds of wrestling, McDowell takes the deployed taser from the officer, saying “You aren’t going to shoot me,” and “I need your supervisor.”
It is at this point that the officer is able to get McDowell on his back as they continue to wrestle. Another responding officer enters the store and begins to assist. McDowell can be seen putting his hand on the female officer’s service weapon. She was able to bat his hand away. It took four officers to get him out of the store and into a patrol car, as he continued to resist.
First, we are grateful that all parties walked away from this incident alive. It could have been a much more tragic situation had McDowell gotten the weapon from the officer.
WATCH: Former Michigan State football star Malik McDowell fights officer at Oakland County gas station. Full story and video: https://t.co/oNtBVEhjLJ (WARNING: There is strong and explicit language throughout the video) pic.twitter.com/TSa45jzf9Q
— Local 4 WDIV Detroit (@Local4News) July 9, 2019
Second, kudos to the officer for leaning on his training in both his attempts to de-escalate the situation as well as in his handling of a much larger and physically stronger person.
Unless you live in Lathrup Village, Michigan or watch TMZ, you were probably unaware of this altercation. That is a shame. This should be shown all over the place. The general public needs to be aware of the threats that officers face ever day. They need to know that at any given moment of the day or night, officers are put into a situation to make immediate and sometimes, life-altering decisions. We have to get the public to a general awareness that officers like this one, generally resort to lethal force only as a last measure. They prefer to bring resolution without shots being fired. Yet, how often do we see things escalate because the suspect decides he can over-power an officer?
This all-out assault on the LEO community from the public, the criminals and even politicians that write the rules of governance for cops has to end.