HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hartford police have released the body camera footage of a traffic stop early Monday after videos of the incident began circling on social media.
The department said it wanted to release the footage quickly to keep the situation as transparent as possible.
Police said the incident began when they spotted the vehicle in question on Blue Hills Avenue, which was reported stolen and wanted for its involvement in a shooting incident in a nearby community.
Officers pulled the car over and approached the driver, who said she was the owner of the car.
After informing her of the situation, the video showed her enraged, telling officers that the vehicle was hers.
It starts with her saying to an officer, “You lying [expletive] ’cause I’ve never been to no New Britain…I want your badge number. You’re going down.”
She continued to yell at the officer, saying, “Everything I do is legit,” as she threw some type of card from her purse at the windshield of the patrol car.
An officer approached her and said, “Ma’am, you need to relax.”
An officer then tried to show her that her vehicle was on the list and she accused the officers of just adding it.
“There’s no possible way,” she said. “You just did that in the system. There’s no [expletive] possible way my car has never ever been reported stolen. Ever.”
She continued to scream “ever” as an officer behind her called out, “Yes, it has.”
“No, it [expletive] hasn’t,” she said, turning around the officer. Leave me alone. No, it hasn’t…Everything is in my name. How the [expletive] could it be reported stolen?”
As she continued to be upset with the officers, they told her that they are checking her information against the DMV to verify that she owns the car so they can remove it from the list.
The situation quickly escalated and the woman jumped inside of the car a refused to get out. Officers sternly told the woman to get out but tried to take off, moving her vehicle forward while it was surrounded by officers.
Once again, officers told her to get out and tried to remove her. She said the vehicle was hers and that her daughter was inside.
At some point, a passenger who was in the car got out and was now on the sidewalk.
During the commotion, the male passenger took the child and left, police said, adding that he is the suspect in the shooting in question.
Police then forcibly removed the woman from the car. Seconds later, she was seen on the ground being restrained.
One of the videos on social media showed an officer’s knee touching the woman’s head. However, after reviewing the video, the department said the officer’s knee was not touching her.
“There is one point in some of the video footage where it appears an officer has his knee on the woman. However, based on an initial review of the video footage, he does not. It appears he has his knee over hovering over her head area, which he then moves.”
The videos have sparked outrage in the community.
“It is George Floyd all over again except the voice was different,” said community activist, Cornell Lewis. “I thought a knee that was somewhere near the head or the neck. I saw an officer with something that looked like an armbar [arm lock], and he had the woman in a very, very tight situation.”
The woman was eventually taken into custody and charged with interfering with police and reckless endangerment. Police said she did not sustain any injuries.
Police said they did not use pepper spray or weapons during the incident.
The use of force in the incident is being reviewed by the department.
Police did not comment on if the car was stolen or not.
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