UGA football player’s arrest ‘a breakdown in communications,’ police chief says (UPDATED)

Georgia football player Jordan Love was arrested late Monday night on a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of a law enforcement officer, but UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson told the AJC today that the arrest now appears to have stemmed from a “breakdown in communications.”

Williamson said UGA Police responded to a complaint about three individuals shooting off fireworks outside McWhorter Hall, an East Campus Village dormitory, and arrested Love at the scene for obstruction because he would not provide his full name to the officer. Williamson said Love would not or could not give  his middle name.

However, Williamson told the AJC that, after talking with Love’s family this morning, there are  extenuating circumstances that will be presented to a Municipal Court judge, who will decide whether to drop the charge.

“Mr. Love, I think, was honest in his attempt, and the officer felt he was being evasive,” Williamson said. “It was a breakdown in communications.

“The circumstances as being reported now is the individual just doesn’t go by that middle name,” Williamson added. “There are personal reasons why, and I don’t want to divulge the circumstances, but talking to those people -– the point they made seems very reasonable. The officer didn’t know those facts at the time. We will make that known to the court and let the court decide based on what is known now.”

Williamson said alcohol did not appear to be involved in the incident.

He said  police do not have the power to drop the charge but will make  the facts known to a Municipal Court judge.

“Sometimes verbal communication doesn’t go as well as you’d hope,” Williamson told the AJC.  “This young man, from what I gather now, was operating from honest intentions, but it’s easy for an officer to think he’s dealing with [a situation] like other individuals you see in the past.

“When I see all of it, as police chief, I do think we could have done better. I will say as a department that could been handled better and done better. When I look at the … officer’s account, I can say I see that point, but I think that point is what we need to work on in the future.”

Love was booked into the Clarke County Jail at 11:35 p.m. and released on $5,000 bond at 1:03 a.m.

Love is a redshirt freshman. He did not play in a game last season. He is listed as a third-string cornerback on the Bulldogs’ most recent depth chart.

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