Officer suspended for shooting video of former St. Joe's player Delonte West, Phil Martelli reaches out

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020
FILE: Cleveland Cavaliers' Delonte West in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009, in Cleveland.

OXON HILL, Maryland (WPVI) -- A Maryland police officer has been suspended for shooting a video that shows former St. Joseph's University and NBA player Delonte West as he was being questioned while shirtless and handcuffed, a police department said.

One of two videos circulating on social media shows a thin, shirtless man with tattoos sitting on a curb with his hands cuffed behind his back. Police say that man is West and that an officer shot the video.

Prince George's County Police said they learned on Tuesday that an officer shot video of West sitting on the curb and that it was circulating on social media. An investigation followed and the suspension was announced on Tuesday.

The other video shows a man being beaten in the middle of a road.

Police said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that they responded to a call about a fight near the MGM National Harbor casino, located just across the border from Washington. When officers arrived, they saw a man bleeding from the face and "made the decision to handcuff" West.

Police said they learned that West and the second man knew each other and that they had argued earlier that morning. The men refused medical treatment and refused to press charges, police said.

The 36-year-old West played for the Boston Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics, Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks. He spoke in 2015 about having bipolar disorder.

His former St. Joe's teammate Jameer Nelson posted a message on Twitter Monday, saying, in part:

"All we can do is pray for him and his family and hope that he seeks the proper help. Mental illness is something a lot of people deal with and don't even know it, until it's too late. I'm not sure what exactly is going on with Dwest but he knows I'm in his corner and will help him get through this."

Former St. Joe's coach Phil Martelli responded to Nelson's message.

"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," Martelli said.

Martelli coached West and Jameer Nelson for three seasons at Saint Joseph's.

West and Nelson anchored Martelli's Saint Joseph's team that went undefeated in the regular season in 2003-04 before losing to Oklahoma State in the Elite Eight.


The Associated Press and ESPN contributed to this report.