Police in Colorado are investigating the April 6th arrest of a 22-year-old woman after video surfaced showing the arresting Fort Collins police officer slamming the suspect to the ground.
The woman, a Colorado State University junior identified as Michelle Surat, was arrested and charged with third-degree assault and obstructing a police officer.
“As this is still an open case, body camera video is not being released at this time,” said Kate Kimble, a spokeswoman for the Fort Collins police department.
“The officers told her that her boyfriend was not free to leave but that she could go,” Kimble said of the incident. “She remained at the scene, at which time she physically obstructed and struck an officer.”
The incident occurred after police were dispatched to the Bondi Beach Bar to investigate a disturbance involving Surat’s boyfriend. Police said Surat became enraged at the police presence and “shoulder-checked” a bouncer and a police officer before she grabbed her boyfriend and attempted to flee the scene.
Video taken by an eyewitness shows Surat confronting the officer as she resists being detained before the officer swiftly takes her down to the pavement but ‘lacks context’, said Fort Collins police chief John Hutto. “Officers used a standard arrest control to subdue her,” Sergeant Dean Cunningham said.
The video, now being spread under the guise of a “police brutality” issue fails to illustrate how “officers used a standard arrest control to subdue her,” according to Sergeant Dean Cunningham.
Police One’s Officer Blue wrote:
Assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest are two really good ways to get taken to the ground. When somebody is assaulting an officer or actively resisting arrest, the police are allowed to punch you. The officers, no doubt, determined that based on her size, a simple takedown would be the most reasonable amount of force necessary.
In a statement, Hutto confirmed the body camera footage will be released after the investigation is completed.
“I have a duty to preserve and protect the processes that our society has put in place to ensure that the questions surrounding this incident are answered in a fair and impartial manner,” Hutto said. “I have no control over the video that is already in the public domain, but I do have control over the release of the video evidence from our body worn cameras.”
Surat is scheduled in a court on Wednesday, but the moral of her story is simple; if you assault a police officer, you better expect to kiss some asphalt.