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Excessive? Video Of Black Woman's Arrest By White, Male Officers Is Under Investigation

Hartford Police body camera video of a controversial Sept. 21 arrest.
Hartford Police body camera video of a controversial Sept. 21 arrest. Photo Credit: Youtube

Police have released bodycam footage of a controversial arrest of a black woman by multiple white, male officers in Hartford.

The video is meant as an amendment to video of the incident recorded by bystanders and posted to Youtube. It is not clear how many bystander videos were taken, many people had their phones out.

Many people are calling the arrest by Hartford Connecticut Police an excessive use of force. Bystander videos seem to show an officer with a knee on the woman.

In a statement released late Monday, Sept. 21, Hartford Police said that there was no knee on the woman, but a knee did hover over her head during the arrest.

“The use of force in this incident will be reviewed by the police department,” said the statement that noted all instances of police-force are investigated.

The police body camera footage does not show the actual physical arrest, though it can be heard in the background, but does capture the altercation leading up to it.

It was a traffic stop that went bad - fast.

On Sept. 21, police pulled over a black sedan in the Blue Hills neighborhood of Hartford. Police said the car had shown up on their “wanted” vehicle list and they needed to determine if the car was stolen or otherwise wanted. It turns out, the vehicle was wanted for its alleged involvement in an earlier “shots-fired” incident.

The female driver, who is black, said the car is hers and proceeded to provide documentation. While police ran her information through their crime-detection system, the woman yelled that she was being harassed by the police.

A crowd of bystanders was gathered on the sidewalk and there were about 10 police officers making the arrest and doing crowd control, according to the video.

People were shouting and cussing as the police ordered them to stand back. Bystanders said they were concerned about the woman, that police were using excessive force, that there should have been a female officer present for the arrest.

At one point, the woman tried to drive the car away before the police were done with their investigation. Several times the woman put the car into drive or reverse and attempted to leave, but police crowded around the vehicle and opened the door stopping her from exiting. The car moved about several feet in either direction and no one was injured during that time.

When police asked the woman to get out of her car and she refused, she got arrested. The woman was charged with interfering with police and reckless endangerment, police said.

The physical arrest is not on the police video as the officer with the camera was doing crowd control. In his video, you can see people upset and hear the woman yelling that she couldn’t breathe.

Eventually, it was revealed that the woman had a child in her car during the incident.

Police said that during the “commotion” the vehicle’s male passenger left with the child. The passenger is a suspect in a shots-fired incident, police said, though they did not know that at the time of the incident.

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