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APD spokeswoman arrested for battery

ALBANY -- The Albany Police Department's public relations/media manager is currently out of jail on bond after she was arrested Saturday afternoon.

According to information received from the Dougherty County Police Department, Phyllis Banks-Whitley, a spokeswoman for the Albany Police Department, was arrested around 5 p.m. Saturday and charged with battery after an altercation with her daughter.

A DCPD report of the incident states that at approximately 4:22 p.m. Saturday, Dougherty police officers were called to Banks' residence on the 800 block of Shelton Court in reference to a family violence call.

According to the police report, Banks and her 16-year-old daughter were arguing about Banks' refusal to let her daughter attend a football game.

The police report indicates that Banks told officers that her daughter became upset when she was told she could not go to a football game and began yelling at her mother. Banks said after she explained to her daughter why she could not attend the football game, her daughter continued to yell at her and refused to leave the doorway to Banks' bedroom after being asked repeatedly to do so.

Banks then reportedly threw a tan sandal with a wedge heel at her daughter, which struck the teen on the foot. The girl then ran into Banks' bedroom and began to hit her mother.

According to the police report, the mother and daughter became involved in a physical altercation in which Banks tried to remove her daughter from her room.

The teenager's statement to officers indicated that in addition to being struck with the shoe, her mother also threw a portable police radio at her but missed.

Banks told police she managed to remove her daughter from her bedroom and then told her oldest daughter to contact the police.

According to Banks' older daughter's statement to officers, she did not see the physical confrontation between her sister and mother, but did hear her sister yelling at their mother and tried to persuade her sister to leave their mother alone.

Police said Banks suffered several scratches on her face and chest, while her daughter received a large bruise across her forehead.

Banks was arrested at the scene for battery and was transported to the Dougherty County Jail, where she was released Sunday on $2,000 bond, a jail spokesman said.

Banks' 16-year-old daughter has not been charged.

Steve Butler, a spokesman for the APD, said the department is looking into the incident.

"The case is under administrative review right now," said Butler, who declined to comment further on the matter.

Banks also declined to comment about the incident when contacted Monday by The Herald.

Dougherty County Police Chief Don Cheek said the incident was unfortunate.

"It is one of those things you hope never happens," said the police chief. "However, these things do happen, and the state has a zero tolerance for it."