Macon woman wielding machete video goes viral
A video showing two white men and one Black woman wielding a machete in the middle of Georgia Road in Franklin on Aug. 8 circulated on social media, causing misinformation to spread in the community.
Macon County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release late Monday night to clarify what happened when law enforcement arrived on the scene that day.
Terry Atkinson, owner of Mom & Pop Café on Georgia Road, recorded the video and posted it to his page on Aug. 9. Atkinson was yelling at the men in the middle of the road to calm down and walk away from the woman waving around the machete. By Tuesday morning, the video had over 7,000 views and nearly 300 shares on Facebook.
The press release from the sheriff’s office stated that local law enforcement was familiar with person who was blocking the roadway and waving a machete.
“Upon arrival, a responding deputy who arrived on scene and immediately began calling the subject by name and repeated verbal commands. While calling out to the black female the deputy pointed in her direction and requested that she sit down where she was and to drop the machete,” the press release stated.
According to the press release, deputies who were familiar with the woman called her by her first name while giving her verbal commands. She complied with deputies’ commands, dropped the machete and sat down on the pavement.
The video confirms that a deputy approached her as she moved out of the roadway and into the parking lot of a convenience store. Once the deputy pointed his weapon at her, she threw the machete to the ground and sat down on the ground.
EMS was requested by deputies due to blood being seen on the subject.
Besides the bystander video posted online, the sheriff’s office has bodycam video as well as video from the responding deputies’ in-car cameras. These videos show the entire incident unfolding as they arrived and continues until the deputies left the scene.
“We have been informed by media outlets that there are reports a taser was utilized during this incident. As stated previously, we have the incident on video,” the press release stated. “Deputies who were on scene of this incident state that a taser was never used during the entire encounter with this individual who was a black female.”
The first responding deputy did not have a taser in his possession during his entire shift and did not have one at this particular scene. In an interview conducted by Sheriff Robert Holland following the incident, the deputies who responded to the incident stated there was never a need for displaying a taser or any other weapon they may carry.
One deputy was wearing black gloves in the video, which the sheriff said he had placed the gloves on his hands prior to his arrival in an effort for self-protection against any contamination from any blood or bodily fluids. As stated earlier, deputies said they were familiar with the woman and knew what they could possibly encounter once they arrived on scene.
The female was slightly injured prior to their arrival from a small laceration on her finger. Deputies called for EMS to treat her for any injuries and to check on her condition. Once treated and assessed by EMS she was transported to a local hospital.
“This was a dangerous situation on many levels and excellent police work. From the citizens who reported the incident, the deputies who responded, EMS, Franklin Police and all the way to the hospital staff who eventually assisted the female should be commended for their efforts,” Holland said. “This was excellent work in dealing with someone who obviously was having a mental health crisis and the efforts by all are what eventually lead to a safe conclusion and getting someone the appropriate assistance needed. Everyone went home or where they needed to be safely.”