A Barstow, California police officer is under fire after body camera shows him brutally wrestling a Black woman to the ground when she was eight months pregnant, CNN reports.
The incident occurred in January when the pregnant woman, Charlena Michelle Cooks, 29, of Barstow, was brutally arrested on a charge of resisting arrest after she declined to identify herself when police arrived on the scene to settle a dispute between her and a White woman, CNN writes.
Police began an investigation into the arrest Tuesday, five days after the ACLU posted police body camera video online and issued a news release about the incident and that of another arrest of two brothers who, like Cooks, declined to identify themselves to police, writes the news outlet.
“I’d say it’s pretty horrifying because the parent is dropping off her second-grade daughter (and) got into altercation with another parent,” Jessica Price, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said of the video, posted online by the group. The women were upset with each over a driving dispute.
“A lot of people are going to look at this and going to say there is some level of racial profiling and bias going on here,” Price said.
The city of Barstow, however, said police acted properly in the January arrest of Charlena Michelle Cooks of Barstow, though a charge of resisting arrest against her was dropped
Lawyers representing the police department deny that race was a factor in the incident, arguing that Cooks was clearly resisting arrest.
Cooks told CNN that the officers treated her “like an animal, like a monster, like I didn’t exist, like I was not human.”
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SOURCE: CNN | VIDEO CREDIT: YouTube
Watch Roland Martin and the Straight Talk Panel discuss the disturbing police body cam video on NewsOne Now below