An investigation was launched by the Ohio police force after video emerged showing a police officer repeatedly punching an unarmed Black woman after an argument over an order at McDonald’s.
The video, recorded by an eyewitness, apparently shows Butler County Police Sergeant Todd Stanley wrestling with the woman and punching her in the face at least three times.
Mr. Stanley and a colleague later detained the woman, later identified as Latinka Hancock.
Hancock’s lawyer said the woman’s face was bloodied and she suffered a concussion and had to be taken to hospital for treatment.
As reactions to Monday’s incident escalated, it turned out that the incident involving Ms. Hancock followed an argument at a McDonald’s.
Reports said he was angry at an order that was wrong and went back to the staff to dispute it.
“She was angry about a $0.30 piece of cheese,” the caller told dispatchers, according to WHIO-TV.
At one point they called the police and were seen talking to Ms. Hancock, who was trying to drive them away. At this point, it looks like the officer is punching her in the face, she.
“We are aware of a video recorded by an eyewitness circulating on Facebook regarding an incident that occurred on January 16, 2023, involving two of our officers,” the ministry said on Facebook.
“This incident, as with any use of force in an arrest, is currently being investigated in accordance with department policies and procedures.”
On Wednesday, John Porter, chief of the Butler Township Police force in the northern suburbs of Dayton, held a press conference where he promised a fair investigation.
He said that the officer, who was a 22-year veteran, was on administrative leave. The other officer involved in the incident was identified as Tim Zellers.
Mr. Porter claimed that officers tried to arrest Ms. Hancock for trespassing, but Hancock was uncooperative.
“We take these incidents very seriously and are investigating and will conduct a thorough investigation,” he said, adding that he plans to make all police footage available.
“We’re going to go as deep as we can into this. As I said, if there are signs of wrongdoing and against our policy, then we will definitely take official action.”
Still, there is growing confusion over what many claim is just another example of police using unnecessary force against a person of color.
“It is unacceptable to harass a black woman. “I will call and voice my concerns for the safety of all Black women,” wrote Michelle Campbell, one of the many posters on the police Facebook page.
“They should both be fired. They officially harassed that woman. I was horrified. Why? Why? Was it because she was black?
Another user, Jeff Conley, wrote: “As a resident, I expect more from our employees. What I saw on the news was not the kind of behavior we wanted in Butler Township.
And another, Karen Houston, wrote: “Shameless… This is in no way acceptable… No investigation is needed to suspend this officer and take him off the street… We are not safe with him. On the street or in any force.. #ACT NOW DON’T WAIT!”
Independent He confirmed that Ms. Hancock was represented by Michael Wright, a lawyer for the Dayton-based firm Wright and Schulte.
Mr. Wright told a local media station: “I was hired to represent him. I’m investigating now. I want to know why this happened and the video I saw was disturbing. I want to know why the officer used excessive force.”