TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Two Tuscaloosa Police officers have been pulled off the street and assigned to desk duty after they brutally arrested a woman during a traffic stop.
Police body camera footage was released Wednesday showing officers Steven Lackey and Cole Ward taking suspect 22-year-old Jhasmynn Sheppard to the ground.
While the incident was happening someone captured the whole thing on cell phone video and the incident went viral on social media. One of the officers used a police baton to hit Sheppard.
“I was beaten by two police officers and I was unarmed and I did everything they asked me to do,” Sheppard said. “And all I did was ask a question, and I did not deserve to get beaten into the ground with blood running down my face and bruises all over my body and aches and pains and I am still having headaches every morning when I wake up.”
The incident happened last Friday, April 19, after one of the officers stopped Sheppard claiming she was a hit-and-run driver. Sheppard denies the allegation but admits she was in a car accident. But she said the driver and passenger in the other vehicle told her they were ok, so she left the scene.
Sheppard says she begged the officers not to hurt her.
“I am in pain and begging them and pleading with them to stop,” Sheppard said. “Y’all are hurting me and they were like yelling its too late for that – disrespecting me making me feel like I am not even human”.
On the police body camera, you can hear both officers using profanity and yelling threats to Sheppard. One of the officers said, “If you do anything more then what you are told I am going to kick you in the teeth.”
Another officer told Sheppard, “You’re lucky I didn’t put my gun in the back of your noggin and make you obey”.
Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson says both men are under investigation.
“For me, that caused lots of anger. I was disappointed in the officers,” Anderson said. “I was disgusted by what I saw, by what I heard. I was embarrassed by it because it does not reflect our core values here at the Tuscaloosa police department.”
Sheppard is planning to file a lawsuit against the officers.
“They know they are wrong and they know they are not right for this and what they did was uncalled for – and this is not the end,” Anderson said.
Police Chief Steve Anderson tells CBS 42 he is considering dropping charges of Assault and disarming a police officer that Sheppard is facing.
You can view the released body cam footage below (WARNING. Strong language and acts of force are displayed in video) :