As if the Atlanta police department didn't have enough PR problems…

Police say a British historian was handcuffed, thrown to the ground and jailed because he refused to obey a uniformed officer's order to use a crosswalk and wouldn't show identification.

The historian says he had no idea the upset young man was a police officer.

"Where I'm from, you don't associate young gentlemen in bomber jackets with the police. But he was extremely upset I had questioned his bona fides," said the historian, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, a professor at Tufts University in Massachusetts and expert on colonial history.

The officer was off-duty. Fernandez-Armesto says he didn't show ID because he'd left his green card in his hotel room. When he stammered when the officer demanded identification, the officer kicked his legs out from under him and threw him to the ground. Other officers soon converged, and held the man down to be handcuffed. He spent eight hours in jail before prosecutors dropped the charges.

Much more detail from the History News Network here.

The Atlanta Journal has the officer's story here .  Frankly, even if the officer's version of events is accurate, I don't think it reflects very well on him.  Fernandez-Armesto admits to jaywalking, but the officer seems to be saying he arrested the historian for disrespecting him.