It seems like we can’t go more than a week or so without a new video popping up in our news feeds showing police officers using excessive force on black citizens. The latest instance of this comes out of Michigan where a Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Deputy was reportedly caught on camera punching a black woman in the head repeatedly near the scene of a shooting on Tuesday morning.
The Associated Press reports that multiple officers were put on administrative leave after the altercation in Ypsilanti Township that ended in what dozens of protesters see as a blatant act of police brutality. In the video, the deputy can be seen lifting a woman identified as Sha’Teina Grady El off of her feet, getting into some kind of struggle with her and suddenly punching her three times in the head before taking her to the ground. Another officer can be seen using a Taser on her husband.
Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton addressed the incident saying, “There is absolutely no doubt, and no argument from me, that the images in the video are disturbing. It warrants a complete investigation.”
About three dozen demonstrators marched outside the sheriff’s department headquarters, chanting such things as “no justice, no peace” following the incident in Ypsilanti Township, about 40 miles west of Detroit.
Authorities said the deputies took the action against Sha’Teina Grady El and her husband, Dan Grady El, after they ignored an order to leave the scene of a shooting as officers formed a perimeter to keep community members away from a potential shooter.
“We cannot continue to allow this,” said Trische’ Duckworth, a protest organizer with the nonprofit Survivors Speak.
The protesters later met with Clayton in his office.
The sheriff’s department was called to scene on reports 30 people were arguing and shots had been fired. Upon arrival, the responding deputies found a 34-year-old female gunshot victim who required medical attention and several bystanders observing the scene, prompting a call to other police agencies for assistance.
According to Fox 2 Detroit, Clayton spoke with community leaders about the investigation into the Grady Els’ arrests.
“How we’re going to evaluate this situation is we’re going to look and try to determine the resistant behavior that was demonstrated,” Clayton said. “And then we’re going to look at the officer’s actions, see what options he had. And if his control or force was appropriate given the situation, the whole situation and the resistant behavior of that person.”
The couple’s daughter Jaquisy Diggins doesn’t believe there is much gray area when it comes to what happened to her mother.
“He punched my mother three times like she was a whole guy,” she told Fox 2. “They asked her to back up and she did back up as you can see in the video she backed up with her hands like this and the officer still rushed my mom.”
Diggins also defended her father saying “he was doing what any man, husband would do, and he was defending his wife when the [sheriff deputy] punched her.”
“And then after the fact he did calm down and tried to talk with the police officers and another officer came up and tased him, when he was being calm,” she said.