Review board: Officer used necessary force

Family claims police brutality in arrest of 27-year-old Centauris Simon


KINGSLAND, Ga. – A five-person review board has ruled that a Kingsland police officer who struggled with and stunned a man with a Taser during an arrest "used only enough force necessary to affect an arrest and in self-defense within the parameters of the Kingsland Police Department (standard operating procedure)."

The review board looked at the in-car video and audio recording of Officer Douglas Wellner in the May 31 arrest of 27-year-old Centauris Simon (pictured below) and made a unanimous ruling.

Regarding the use of the Taser, the review board unanimously decided Wellner's use was within department guidelines.

The board determined Simon was "combative" with Wellner, trying to kick him while Wellner tried to place handcuffs on him.

The board also said it never heard Wellner use abusive language and he was "appropriately conducting his duties as a peace officer."

Booking photo of Centauris Simon
Booking photo of Centauris Simon

The board unanimously recommended no action be taken against Wellner.

Simon's aunt Mary Matthews said earlier this week the situation was not handled properly.

"We do feel like the way Centauris was treated was unjust," Matthews said. "He was already handcuffed and there was no need for the constant beating he received. I just feel like they could have handled that differently."

Simon had a warrant out for eight felony counts. He said when Wellner recognized him as a wanted man, Simon ran and Wellner chased him, catching up with him three blocks away.