Georgia and Tennessee criminal defense attorney McCracken Poston released a statement Wednesday asserting a viral video that appears to show his client fist fighting with a Chattanooga police officer on June 16 doesn't show the whole story.
Poston says his client, William Alexander Floyd, first saw the officer from behind and thought he was someone trying to start a fight with another man he knew. The video shows the officer was in full uniform, including his service belt and firearm.
"Things are not always as they appear," Poston stated. "There is a much more interesting story in the seconds leading up to the events that were captured and widely shared by social media."
Questions have swirled around the video which circulated social media, racking up tens of thousands of views on Twitter and Facebook within a day. The Times Free Press previously reported the altercation began at around 2:15 a.m. outside Regan's Place, a downtown nightclub, at 24 Station Street.
Police officers were providing crowd control in front of the club when a tussle broke out between several people and club bouncers, according to an arrest affidavit. Officers stepped in to break up the brawl when Floyd tried to stop officers from breaking up the fight by stepping in front of an officer and pushing him.
Poston said Floyd jumped in thinking the two men were going to fight, but "he suddenly found that one of them was an officer and who was now offering to fight him."
He also said there appeared to be people encouraging the two to fight, including some "uniformed individuals."
"In any event, the fact that there were multiple officers standing around seemingly enjoying what looked to be a loosely organized contest, and not acting within their training to immediately assist to subdue a suspect, makes this a very curious case," Poston stated.