By Joe Johnson
An Athens-Clarke County police officer who was arrested last year for a domestic violence incident has been accepted into a pretrial intervention program.
If he successfully completes the program, 26-year-old Officer Sadiki Kamau McBarnette will have all charges against him dismissed.
The officer was arrested on March 22, 2021, reportedly for a domestic violence incident involving his children’s mother.
According to an Athens-Clarke County police report, McBarnette was charged under the state Family Violence Act with simple battery and criminal trespass/damage to property, both misdemeanor offenses
According to the police report, officers responded to McBarnette’s home on Fitzroy Drive on a 12:27 p.m. report by a 25-year-old woman that McBarnette had assaulted her during an argument.
The woman said she had moved out of the home several days earlier and had returned so that her two children could see their father, according to the report, which noted the woman also went to pick up clothing for the kids.
An argument reportedly ensued after the woman used her phone to take video of “a lot of new things” that McBarnette had purchased.
“She began to record these items on her phone as she believes (McBarnette) complains about not having money all the time but only spends it on himself and not the kids,” according to the report.
After washing some of the children's clothing, she and McBarnette got into an argument in which he allegedly grabbed the woman’s arm and dragged her into the garage and later deleted the videos on her phone, which also included a recording of the argument, according to the report.
When an officer interviewed him, McBarnette reportedly said that the argument had been about the items the woman had videoed and also about her being with another man over the weekend.
He admitted to grabbing the woman to “pull/escort her to the door and then into the garage,” according to the report.
McBarnette “stated he made a bad decision in deleting the video of the items she recorded when she first got to the house,” according to the report. “When asked about the videos no longer being in (the phone’s) trash bin he says he had not done anything with that and they should still be in the trash bin.”
Detectives and police supervisors showed up at the scene, the report noted.
Though McBarnette had graduated from the police academy, he was still under the supervision of a veteran field training officer.
Athens-Clarke County police Public Relations Officer Shaun Barnett said the new officer training program had been interrupted when McBarnette was deployed by the military.
Upon acceptance into the county’s pretrial diversion program on Jan. 26, the officer will have to report by phone once a month to a probation officer, show proof that he was evaluated for and completed an anger management program, have no contact with the woman in the case, pay a $300 program fee and a monthly supervision fee of $45.