Salt Lake County District is considering to engage criminal charges against a police officer seen on body cam video striking a woman in 2014. The video was posted on Youtube on Tuesday by the woman’s daughter.
Salt Lake City’s authorities are evaluating the possibility of presenting criminal charges against a police officer who was captured on a 2014 body camera video assaulting Michelle Anderson in front of her daughter. On October 13, 2014, two officers arrived, for a second time, at a home after receiving a public intoxication call. Inside the house, Salt Lake City’s officers found a woman with signs of intoxication and they proceeded to arrest her in front of a nine-year-old girl.
2014 Body Cam Arrest
During the first call, neighbors reported yells and cries from the inside of the Anderson residence. Anderson’s nine-year-old daughter told the police that her mother had yelled at her expletive names and that she was afraid of remaining alone with Anderson. Police officers made some arrangements to leave the girl in charge of a family member, and they left.
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In the second time, police received reports of a neighbor about the critical state of intoxication the woman presented and that Anderson tried to fight with another resident.
The video, posted on YouTube by Anderson’s 22-year-old daughter, Jasmine Anderson, shows Michelle Anderson’s arrest. In the first part of the video, Anderson is seen calmly handcuffed by a police officer in front of her daughter. Suddenly, the police officer appears spinning around the woman, striking right in her face and throwing her to the ground. Right after, the police officer starts yelling expletives at the woman.
In the video, the police officer claims Anderson spit on him. However, the body camera did not capture such accusation.
While lying on the ground, Anderson is heard crying and saying: “please I won’t do it again … I can’t breathe.” Then, the footage shows the officer who had previously punched the woman, kicking her.
Tessa Hansen, an attorney with the Salt Lake Legal Defenders Association, who represented Anderson, said that her client had what appeared to be a broken nose and some damages to her teeth as a consequence of 2014’s incident. Hansen added that her office thought police department was reviewing the case.
Jasmine Anderson said she surface the video on Youtube on Tuesday after receiving an 8-minutes footage showing her mom being assaulted by a Salt Lake City’s Officer. Since the video was posted online, it has been steadily leading to news coverage.
Police and prosecutors launched internal affairs investigation
Salt Lake City’s authorities are trying to figure out why is that the disturbing video has come to light sooner. During a news conference on Wednesday, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said actions captured in the video are abhorrent, and they are far away a reflection of how officers are taught to handle situations.
Brown ordered an internal affairs investigation to find out the reasons why the video became public two years after the incident when sergeants are supposed to check out the body camera every time an arrest is conducted. Brown also said that he became aware of the incident once the video was posted and he qualified the situation as a terrible act. According to him, Salt Lake City Police Department should have faced the conflict in a different way.
“It’s a tragic situation in several ways. The action you saw was abhorrent. It is not what we would teach it is not our culture. It did occur. That is our video tape we do not back away from that, and I promise that we will take appropriate actions to look into this situation and investigate it through our internal affairs process,” said Brown.
Nevertheless, Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gill referred to the video as a difficult one and added that the city prosecutor’s office was aware of the content of the video two years ago when the incident took place. By that time, lawyers from the city attorney’s office were in charge of the case against Michelle S. Anderson, who was allegedly charged with public intoxication and for spitting at an officer. However, charges were dismissed, and the city prosecutor’s office failed about letting police know due to a “communication breakdown.”
Michelle L. Diamond, a former city prosecutor who worked on Anderson’s case said the charges were dropped because the officer failed to show for the evidentiary hearing. Also, she said she was horrified by the video and that she immediately asked her supervisors to the communicate Salt Lake City’s Police Department about the existence of the video.
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Brown said his office will evaluate how the agency members review arrests and body camera videos. He let know that he is currently in communication with the district attorney’s office to determine if any criminal charges need to be brought against the officer.
Source: News Bug