Ex-NBA player Delonte West arrest video prompts suspension of Maryland officer

West, who spent eight years playing for the NBA including for the Boston Celtics, revealed in 2015 that he has bipolar disorder.
Image: Dallas Mavericks player Delonte West during a game in Los Angeles on April 15, 2012.
Dallas Mavericks player Delonte West during a game in Los Angeles on April 15, 2012.Harry How / Getty Images file

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

A Maryland police officer who recorded a video of former NBA player Delonte West after a fight with another man has been suspended.

One video circulating on social media shows a man being beat up on a street in Oxon Hill, about 12 miles south of Washington, D.C. "From NBA to this … Delonte West," says text imprinted on the video.

Another video shows a tattooed man sitting on a curb, handcuffed and shirtless. Prince George County police told NBC Washington that the man is West.

In the second video, an officer asks, "Why'd you hit him? Did he attack you first — self-defense — or did you hit him?"

"Walkin' down the street, and he approached me with a gun," West, 36, responds. "I'm the real f---ing president."

West spent eight years playing for the NBA, on the Boston Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Dallas Mavericks, beginning in 2004. In 2015, he revealed he has bipolar disorder.

The Prince George's County Police Department said in a statement Tuesday that officers had responded to reports of a fight in Oxon Hill on Monday morning. Once the officers got there, the two men were no longer fighting, but one was bleeding from his face, and police handcuffed the other man, West.

Police learned that a witness had recorded video of the fight, during which one of the men hit the other with a glass bottle and the other man responded by striking back.

Police found out from the men that they knew each other and had gotten in another fight earlier Monday morning. Both refused to press charges and declined medical assistance. They were released after about 45 minutes.

The next day, Prince George's County police learned that the video showing West sitting on the curb in handcuffs was recorded by a police officer. The department is investigating how it ended up posted to social media, and the officer who took the video has been suspended, police said.

After the videos of the fight and aftermath went public on social media, many, including former teammates, expressed support for West and a desire to help.

"Delonte, my man, my teammate. I wish you peace. May the world learn compassion and choose to see you as a human being," former NBA player Lance Allred wrote on Twitter. "You showed me kindness and I wish the world could see how kind you are. Hang in there."