Colorado police defended a video of an officer slamming a woman to the ground as a “standard arrest technique.”
A brutal nine-second video of the incident has been viral on social media. The video shows a Fort Collins police officer grabs the arms of a woman identified by Michaella Surat. Surat appears to pull away, then the officer uses the weight of his body to slam her to the ground outside of a bar, where the woman face first on the ground with a sound of a smack.
Fort Collins Police Services Chief John Hutto said the incident will be “thoroughly investigated,” but also noted that the video doesn’t capture “the context or content of the full event.”
“I understand and appreciate why this event has sparked so much interest,” Hutto said in a statement posted on the department’s Facebook page. “The incident was partially captured on cellphone video and was also documented on the body cameras worn by the officers on the scene.”
“Additionally, rarely in use-of-force situations is there agreement from all the parties involved as to the appropriateness, efficacy, or necessity of its use,” the statement adds. “These questions are only answered through the analysis of all the evidence after the fact.”
Sargent Dean Cunningham, a Fort Collins Police Department spokesman, said police were send off to the scene to resolve a disturbance between two men near Bondi Beach Bar in Old Town Fort Collins. As officers were talking to employees, Surat — identified as one suspect’s girlfriend — “shoulder-checked” a bouncer and an officer before attempting to pull her boyfriend away from authorities, police said.
“The officers told her that her boyfriend was not free to leave but that she could go,” Cunningham said. “She remained at the scene, at which time she physically obstructed and struck an officer.”
Seems excessive… pic.twitter.com/vnHAnIUjeE
— Trevor Hartman (@Trevor_Hartman) April 8, 2017
At that point, Cunningham said, Surat was “taken to the ground” so that officers could arrest her. She was taken into the Larimer County Jail and charged with third-degree assault and obstructing a police officer. Surat was released after posting $1,750 bond.