OXON HILL, Md. (WJZ) — Prince George’s County Police Department officials are investigating after a video showing the aftermath of a fight appearing to involve a former NBA player was recorded by one of its police officers and ended up on social media.
A video posted on Twitter Monday night appears to show an unnamed officer interrogating Delonte West, who played in the NBA from 2004 to 2012. As of Tuesday afternoon, the video has nearly 8 million views.READ MORE: COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts Continue Saturday In Areas Of Baltimore Hit Hardest
The fight happened around 9:45 a.m. Monday in the 6700 block of Oxon Hill Road in Oxon Hill. When officers arrived, the two men reportedly involved had been separated. One was bleeding from his face.
The two men had reportedly gotten into a dispute earlier that morning, police said.
Both men refused medical treatment and declined to press charges. Neither one was arrested but both were uncooperative with the investigation, police said.
Police did not name either man involved in the fight.
In a news release, the department said the circumstances surrounding the video and its release are the subject of an internal investigation.
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said the officer has been suspended.READ MORE: Driver Arrested After Allegedly Stealing Car, Hitting Other Cars, Fleeing, Jumping Into Harbor
Stawinski said he’s “troubled” by the video and the fact it appears an officer took the video.
“It’s irresponsible for that (video) taken by a Prince George’s County police officer to be in the public’s hands,” particularly when individuals are identified, Stawinski said.
West’s NBA career included stints with the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Seattle SuperSonics, Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks.
Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia which West attended tweeted Tuesday morning the community was “deeply saddened” to see the news about the former NBA player.
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The Saint Joseph’s community was deeply saddened to see the recent news regarding Delonte West ‘05, who is and always will be a member of our community, but heartened to see the outpouring of care and support from Hawks around the country.
— Saint Joseph's University (@saintjosephs) January 21, 2020
“We have been in touch with those close to him to offer our help and support. Please join us in praying for him and his family and giving them respect and privacy during this difficult time,” the university tweeted.