During a press conference Wednesday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Johnny Jennings discussed a viral video circulating on social media of one of his officers beating a Black woman during an arrest. Jennings told reporters that he knew that the “optics are bad,” and questioned whether officers should have initiated the marijuana stop that led to the incident.
In the video, Charlotte police officer Vincent Pistone can be seen striking the Black woman multiple times while four officers hold her down. As the woman is being beaten, bystanders can be heard yelling at the officers to stop.
According to AP, on Monday, officers approached a man and woman who were smoking marijuana at a bus stop. They began to arrest the man and the woman allegedly interfered and a struggle ensued. Officers claim she then hit an officer multiple times, which prompted Pistone to hit her several times to allow police to take her into custody. It’s worth noting that bystander video does not show the moments before police began beating the woman.
During the press conference, Jennings told reporters that the officer’s body camera was knocked off during the incident, but believes the public has a right to see it. In North Carolina, a court order is needed to release police body camera footage, but Jennings ensured his department has already petitioned for the video’s release.
“I get it. I understand the outrage. I understand the emotions that come when you look at a video that involves an officer who is punching a female police are trying to subdue,” Jennings said at the press conference.
Jennings also told the media the department’s internal affairs bureau was investigating the incident and that Pistone has been reassigned temporarily from the patrol division to investigations.
“I can tell you that I’ve never been involved in using force that has looked pretty and has looked good to the public, so these are difficult situations. And all I ask is we continue to let this investigation internally play out.”
Although Jennings showed support for his officers, he was clear that the incident shouldn’t have happened. But, he wasn’t as clear as to who was to blame.
“It shouldn’t have happened,” he said. “But whose responsibility is the question, right?”
The post Charlotte Cops Shown On Video Beating Black Woman ‘Should Have Never Happened,’ Police Chief Says appeared first on NewsOne.
Charlotte Cops Shown On Video Beating Black Woman ‘Should Have Never Happened,’ Police Chief Says was originally published on newsone.com
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