A woman can be heard screaming during a video that shows her getting her face smashed into a police car during her Aug. 10 arrest for alleged DUI.
The Tallahassee Democrat obtained footage of 44-year-old Christina West’s arrest, some of which can be seen above. State Attorney Willie Meggs called the footage “very disturbing.”
“I am extremely upset. This is a very disturbing situation to me, and I’m dealing with it.” Meggs told the Democrat.
Meggs also told WCTV that the video was “one of the most disturbing videos” he’s ever seen.
A spokesperson for the Tallahassee Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post. The Democrat reports that there is an internal investigation underway.
WTSP reports that West, who was arrested on DUI and battery on a law-enforcement officer charges, was treated for “a broken orbital bone, along with a swollen eye, bloody nose and cuts to her arms and legs,” that came as a result of the arrest.
At TMH, while being cared for by the hospital staff, Ms. West continued disruptive behavior that resulted in charges for assault being filed against her by the nurse on duty.
The officers completed a use of force report documenting the incident, per department policy.
“We are concerned any time an individual is injured while in police custody,” said Tallahassee Police Chief Dennis Jones. “Our job is to serve and protect, and that includes victims and suspects. We regret that Ms. West was injured.
“We train our officers in appropriate use of force procedures and my job as Chief is to gather all the facts to determine the appropriateness in this case,” Jones said.
Chief Jones has called for an internal investigation, which will include interviews with all the individuals on the scene that night and at the hospital. It will also include reviewing the video to better determine exactly what happened. From a law enforcement perspective, the purpose is to have all the facts of the case so that the chief can take the appropriate action.
The case was sent to the State Attorney, which is standard procedure. In this case, the State Attorney’s office made the decision to dismiss the charges of assault on a police officer(s) as well as charges for assault filed against Ms. West by the nurse at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. The remaining charge of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is awaiting toxicology results.
“We understand that the video is disturbing to watch and it is for us too. We use cameras to help capture events such as this and are making the entire video available as we continue our internal investigation,” said Jones.
The city has posted the 45-minute video of the incident, the Probable Cause Affidavit and the Use of Force Report on the city’s website talgov.com/TPD. The probable cause affidavit and use of force report are also attached and the full video of the incident can be watched below.
Source: WCTV, TPD, Tallahassee
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