VIDEO: Department Investigating Cop's Takedown Of Disorderly Woman In Walmart
Birmingham, AL – An Alabama police officer is under investigation for a violent arrest he made while working off-duty at a Walmart in Roebuck on Tuesday night (video below).
Only the final moments of the off-duty Birmingham police officer’s interaction with the woman were captured on a cell phone video that went viral, according to WHNT.
Witnesses have said the incident started because the woman refused to wear a mask.
Walmart employees asked the woman to wear a mask when she became hostile and started yelling obscenities at employees.
The employees then called the officer to help deal with the disorderly woman.
The officer tried to get the woman to leave the store, but she refused, according to WBRC.
The video began as the officer, who was wearing a mask, attempted to take the woman into custody near the entrance of the Walmart store.
Other customers stood by watching or filming as the officer struggled with the woman.
In the video, the officer managed to pull the woman’s arms together behind her back, but before he could apply handcuffs, she spun around and attempted to get out of his control again.
That’s when the video showed the officer picked up the woman and took her to the ground to apply the handcuffs.
In the video, the woman appeared to hit the store’s tile floor with her face when she landed, and then the officer immediately jumped on top of her and pinned her down while he applied handcuffs.
A woman with a phone to her ear who also was not wearing a mask could be seen screaming at the police officer in the video.
She then crowded the officer and yelled in his face.
The video continued from the opposite angle after the officer had gotten the handcuffed suspect to her feet and was walking her to the exit, and showed a number of unmasked, irate women screaming in the officer’s face.
In the video, the officer removed pepper spray from his belt and deployed the spray in the face of the woman who was trying to interfere in the arrest.
The woman dashed away from the officer but began screaming again as other on-duty police officers began to arrive on the scene.
The video showed the woman in handcuffs did not appear to be seriously injured and was still struggling against the officer who had detained her as the video ended.
The woman was not injured and refused medical attention, according to WBRC.
Birmingham Police Sergeant Rod Mauldin confirmed the officer was off-duty and working security for Walmart when the incident occurred, WHNT reported.
“The same day the interaction occurred immediate actions were taken for the sake of public trust and transparency,” Birmingham police said in a written statement. “A preliminary investigation consistent with the Birmingham Police Department reportable use of force protocols were immediately initiated and investigators of the Internal Affairs Division are conducting an investigation. This protocol applies for all use of force incidents that occur within the Birmingham Police Department.”
The department denied that the arrest was because the woman was not wearing a mask, but was because of her disorderly conduct and refusal to leave.
“We understand we are operating in trying times,” the statement continued. “The Birmingham Police Department has maintained a consistent community-oriented educational approach to the surrounding circumstances of COVID-19. As a department, we have been successful in our efforts to gain compliance and cooperation from the vast majority of citizens in Birmingham.”
“Our records indicate, we have not issued any citations or made arrest as it relates to the shelter in place ordinance or the face-covering ordinance,” the police department said. “We have made a valiant effort to gain voluntary compliance and we will continue to work cohesively with the community.”
The suspect was ultimately charged with disorderly conduct, criminal trespassing third degree, resisting arrest, possession of marijuana, and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
Watch the arrest unfold in the video below (WARNING: Graphic Content):