Trial delayed for man stomped by Huntsville police in video


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Kemontae Hobbs has been arrested by Huntsville police twice since May and charged with obstruction of government operations, resisting arrest, criminal trespassing, and domestic violence.

Hobbs showed up to Huntsville’s municipal court for trial Monday morning, only to find out his day in court would be postponed.

“Kemontae has been charged with resisting arrest and destruction of government operations,’ explained Hobbs’ attorney Martin Weinberg, “it was set for trial today but we continued it because we’ve asked to see the video that the city has.”

Weinberg is referring to body camera video of Hobbs’ arrest inside the Mapco gas station on University Drive in May.

A bystander took a video of the interaction with police and it made its rounds on social media. In the video, you see a struggle with an officer on the gas station floor and another officer running up and stomping on Hobbs’ leg.

In June the City of Huntsville confirmed one of the officers involved in Hobbs viral arrest was disciplined. News 19 obtained a list of the officers involved in the incident. However, it remains unclear which of them was disciplined.

Monday, attorneys for the City of Huntsville argued Weinberg’s request for the bodycam video wasn’t fulfilled because he didn’t fill out the necessary paperwork.

“We just found out that we have to use a specific form and so we fill that form out, and also maybe a third party video from Mapco because we’re trying to get that, and any internal affairs reports they may have that would help us in this case.”

Municipal Court Judge Jeff Grimes stood in for Judge Sybil Cleveland who normally presides over Hobbs case. Grimes continued the trial to November 15.

Weinberg says for Hobbs’ who suffers from a mental illness, the journey through the legal system has been difficult.

“For someone who had an interaction that obviously was influenced by his impairment, we know he’s got these issues,” said Weinberg, “You don’t know what to expect. It can be confusing and causes anxiety, that sort of thing. Of course, it’s just a process you’ve got to go through but you know it is challenging for him.”

But Weinberg is hopeful mid-November will represent a fresh start for Hobbs.

During a hearing in September, Judge Cleveland discussed Hobbs’ mental health before the court. She found him to be more responsive compared to when they first met. Something she said she was glad to see.

A representative from Wellstone Health was also present at Hobbs mental health hearing in September. She said Hobbs was released from their program at the end of August.

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