The video is brief however harrowing. The digicam lens rapidly zooms previous a automobile and focuses on the scene behind it: A sheriff’s deputy in Louisiana, who towers over a small Black girl, is slamming her onto the bottom.
The girl is mendacity on her again, and the deputy is hunched over her. He’s clenching her left wrist with one hand, and her left forearm with one other, and hoisting her physique off the bottom.
He throws her again onto the bottom. Down. Up. Down. Up.
“Somebody file that,” a girl off digicam will be heard saying.
It seems the deputy is holding her by her hair now. He kneels down, probably on prime of her, and the video cuts out.
It’s unclear who took the video, which drew consideration after it was posted final month on social media. The 2 individuals within the footage are Shantel Arnold, 34, and an unidentified member of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Workplace, in keeping with Nola.com, the New Orleans information web site, and Alanah Odoms, the chief director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana.
Ms. Arnold instructed the publication that earlier than the encounter she was strolling house after having been attacked by three boys. That’s when the sheriff’s deputy pulled up in his cruiser and requested her to cease. His intent was unclear. When she didn’t, the deputy obtained out of his automobile and attacked her, Ms. Arnold’s stepfather, Lionel Grey, instructed Nola.com.
The Sheriff’s Workplace, Ms. Arnold and Mr. Grey didn’t return emails and cellphone calls searching for touch upon Saturday and Sunday.
After the assault, Ms. Arnold was taken to a hospital with a busted lip, bruises and scratches, Nola.com reported. It stated she nonetheless will get complications that stem from the encounter. The Sheriff’s Workplace didn’t file fees towards her.
The Sheriff’s Workplace has opened an investigation into the deputy’s confrontation with Ms. Arnold, Ms. Odoms stated. Although the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Workplace has had a historical past of complaints about police brutality and the mistreatment of Black individuals, not often has it investigated them, Ms. Odoms stated in interviews over the weekend.
Physique digicam footage is probably going to not issue into the investigation as a result of the Sheriff’s Workplace doesn’t require its personnel to put on physique cameras, Ms. Odoms stated, regardless of repeated calls from teams, together with the A.C.L.U., to require the units.
Nonetheless, on Thursday, Sheriff Joseph P. Lopinto III of Jefferson Parish stated he purchased 500 physique cameras in June that his deputies might be educated to make use of later this yr. He waited till June to purchase the cameras, which price $8.7 million, as a result of his workplace lacked the finances till not too long ago, he stated at a assembly with the Jefferson Parish Democratic Govt Committee.
It’s simpler for a police officer to get away with harming somebody if the encounter isn’t recorded on a physique digicam, Ms. Odoms stated. Even when there may be ample proof, victims of civil rights violations in Louisiana should press fees inside a yr. In many different states, the statute of limitations is a couple of years longer.
It isn’t identified if Ms. Arnold plans to press fees towards the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Workplace or the deputy concerned within the encounter.
In 2018, 4 Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputies have been accused of — and finally not charged with — inflicting “vital traumatic accidents to the neck” of Keeven Robinson, 22, who was arrested and later died. The mother and father of Eric Parsas, a 16-year-old with autism who died final yr after an encounter with regulation enforcement, filed a federal lawsuit in January towards Sheriff Lopinto and 7 deputies, claiming the deputies who tried to restrain their son had sat on him for greater than 9 minutes, resulting in his loss of life.
The group began submitting the lawsuits in an effort to halt the workplace’s “disturbing sample” of “deep-rooted racial violence” towards Black individuals, the group stated in a assertion this yr. From 2013 to 2020, virtually three-quarters of the individuals killed by the police in Jefferson Parish have been Black, the group stated, regardless that Black individuals make up lower than a 3rd of the parish’s inhabitants.
The practices of the Sheriff’s Workplace “disproportionately topic Black individuals to extreme violence and in some instances, loss of life,” the assertion stated.