*The latest viral video of a questionable police arrest comes out of Connecticut, where body camera footage was released by Hartford police after a tense traffic stop on Blue Hills Avenue Monday afternoon. A woman was pulled over after police said her car was reported stolen.
“What is your cause for talking to me? I don’t have to talk to you. I’m not under arrest,” the woman told police. Authorities said things got out of hand when the woman tried to leave the scene. The officer demanded that she get out of the car, but she put the car in reverse and started backing up.
“No, it’s my car and it’s not stolen,” the woman told police.
Officers and witnesses encouraged her to put the car in park. After they spent a minute and a half asking her to get out of the car, two officers physically pulled her out, and the woman was arrested with at least three officers on the scene. The body camera footage showed the woman on the ground, but eyewitness video revealed an officer’s knee possibly on the woman’s head or neck area. She could be heard yelling, “I can’t breathe.”
The unidentified woman was arrested and continued to protest all the way to the cruiser. She was charged with interfering with police and reckless endangerment because there was a child in the car. Both the woman and the child were not hurt, according to police.
Hartford police later made a clarification that the car was never stolen, but it did make the list of “wanted vehicles’ because it was believed to have been involved in a shots-fired incident. Police said the passenger in the woman’s car was the suspect in the shots-fired incident, but they only determined that after he left the scene.
The department denied that a knee was used in force. They said in a statement, “It appears he has his knee over, hovering over her head area, which he then moves. The use of force in this incident will be reviewed by the Police Department, as is every use of force.”
The community reaction was quick. Hours after the arrest, about a dozen people protested outside police headquarters. They said de-escalation methods should have been used.