Video of a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy slamming a Black woman to the ground by her hair in Louisiana has gone viral.
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An unidentified JPSO deputy is seen holding the wrist of Shantel Arnold as she’s lying on her back on the sidewalk. The deputy is seen dragging Arnold along the pavement, then lifting her up and slamming her to the ground several times. The deputy is eventually seen holding Arnold by her hair and slamming her body to the ground, ripping out some of her braids in the process.
NOLA.com reports that the incident happened on Sept. 20, after the 34-year-old woman had been accosted by a group of young boys. Arnold – just 4 feet, 8 inches tall, and 100 pounds – previously lost her left eye in a car accident. Her size and disability frequently make her a target for neighborhood bullies.
According to news reports, the boys slammed Arnold to the ground and struck her while a crowd watched and laughed. That attack was captured on cellphone video, and it only ended when Arnold’s 71-year-old stepfather chased the perpetrators away.
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Arnold was walking home from the incident, disheveled and covered in dirt. The JPSO deputy pulled up alongside her and asked her what happened. News reports note that the unidentified officer demanded that she stop and talk to him. Still upset by the assault, Arnold told the deputy she had been attacked and wanted to go home, and she continued walking.
According to witnesses, the officer then stopped the police car, grabbed Arnold and threw her to the ground. Other responding deputies called an ambulance, and the vehicle took her to the hospital, where she was treated for bruises, scratches and a busted lip. She reportedly now suffers recurring headaches. Arnold was not charged with any crime.
According to the NOLA.com report, Arnold’s younger sister, Mercedes, claims that in the days and weeks following the attack, the same sheriff’s deputy has been driving past the family’s home in what she believes is an attempt to intimidate them.
The incident is being investigated by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Department of Internal Affairs.
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