The DeKalb County, Ga., Police Department has reopened an internal investigation after video surfaced showing an officer repeatedly hitting a homeless woman with his baton during an arrest.
According to CNN, the incident dates to June 4. The officer had gone to a Chevron gas station in Decatur, Ga., to respond to a complaint about the woman begging for money from customers.
The video doesn’t show what happened before the officer started hitting the woman, identified as Katie McCrary; the footage starts with McCrary already on the ground, with the officer poised to strike her.
A man in the background can be heard shouting, “Hey Katie, stop resisting, stop resisting!”
At the same time, the officer, who remains unidentified, can be heard shouting, “Get on your stomach!” as he strikes McCrary.
“Stop,” McCrary can be heard pleading as she eventually rolls onto her stomach.
The officer then immediately starts to demand, “Put your hands behind your back!” again, continuing to strike McCrary as she struggles.
“Stop it!” McCrary screams. McCrary manages to grab the officer’s baton in an attempt to stop the blows, but the officer then resorts to threatening her.
“Let it go or I’m going to shoot you,” the officer says.
“No, please don’t shoot,” a woman in the background says.
The struggle continues for some time, with the officer continually striking McCrary before McCrary is eventually handcuffed and the video stops.
“What did I do? What did I do wrong?” McCrary can be heard asking near the end of the video.
According to CNN, the officer filed a use-of-force report after the incident and was cleared following an internal-affairs investigation. Following the release of the cellphone video footage, however, the DeKalb County Police Department announced the reopening of the case.
“Now that the department has this new evidence, we have reopened the investigation and will determine whether the incident is consistent with policy and the law,” the statement read.
Funny how that works. You’d think an open-and-shut case would be open and shut, but apparently, things are looking funny in the light.
In the officer’s incident report, the officer claimed that McCrary “attempted to push me out of the way and walk out of the door.” The officer accused McCrary of trying to walk past him and telling him that she was a federal agent. Some more words were exchanged, according to the officer, and then McCrary allegedly “reached out and grabbed” the officer’s badge. The officer acknowledged that he used his baton on her legs and forearms and noted that “one strike inadvertently struck the side of her head as she was moving around.”
The DCPD said in its statement that “the narrative in the officer’s report appears to be consistent with the video.”
McCrary was taken to the DeKalb County Jail, where “she was refused, and deferred to Grady Memorial Hospital for further evaluation,” according to the officer’s incident report. McCrary was later released by the hospital, but the officer noted that she had a half-inch cut on her shin and a welt on her forearm.
Customers at the Chevron have expressed disgust at the officer’s actions, according to CBS 46.
“Just to see what you showed me, that makes my heart hurt,” customer Tasha Marignay said.
“From the beginning of the video she looks like she was under terror,” another customer, Craig Nelson, said. “She’s not mentally there.
“You can see that she wasn’t even resisting arrest. She was probably resisting the last few swings that weren’t caught on camera,” Nelson added.
McCrary was charged with obstructing or hindering law-enforcement officers and was given a criminal trespass warning per the request of the convenience store manager. She is currently in jail, however, on an unrelated charge.