An internal investigation is underway at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department after a video surfaced showing an officer repeatedly punching a woman in her thigh. CMPD stated that officers are trained to “strike large muscle groups in order to gain compliance during an arrest.”
The video taken outside of Bojangles near South Tryon Street and West Arrowood Road shows several officers surrounding a woman lying on the ground, while one officer can be seen repeatedly punching her with a closed fist.
According to CMPD spokesperson Mike Allinger, two people were smoking marijuana and a woman punched an officer in the face. Police said that both individuals, man and woman, resisted arrest. Both are employees at the nearby Bojangles.
Company Vice President of Communications, Stacey McCray, told the Charlotte Observer in an email that the two employees had just clocked out and were off Bojangles’ property.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said that an officer struck the woman multiple times in her thigh and told her to stop resisting. The department stated that, after several repeated verbal commands, an officer resorted to striking the woman seven times.
The strikes included knee strikes and ten closed fist strikes to the peroneal nerve in the thigh, all in an attempt to gain compliance.
“The officer was intentional about where the strikes were made.” CMPD’s Internal Affairs division is investigating.
Chief Johnny Jennings said in a statement that the body cam footage of the incident was “not easy to watch.” He stated that the footage from the body camera footage “tells more of the story than what is circulating on social media.”
He has also said he requested, through the city’s attorney, to file a motion with the courts to allow the footage of the incident to be released.
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