Annapolis, MD – An irate crowd swarmed two Annapolis police officers as they tried to separate two brawling women outside an apartment complex on Sunday (video below).
The chaotic scene erupted outside the Harbor House apartments in the Eastport neighborhood on Sunday evening, Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said in a statement on Monday, according to The Arundel Patriot.
At approximately 7:30 p.m., police received a report that a man who had just been involved in a fight had left to go get a gun, the Capital Gazette reported.
When Annapolis officers arrived at the scene, they spotted two women fighting in the lobby area of the Madison Street apartment building.
The women were surrounded by a large crowd of people who came to watch the altercation, police said.
A bystander started recording the scene just as the fight spilled out of the building and moved onto the grassy area near the community swimming pool fence.
The two officers rushed in to separate the brawling women, but people from the surrounding mob began to punch one of the women they were trying to apprehend, the video showed.
One officer was forced to release his hold on the woman he had subdued in order to save the second officer from the attacking crowd.
The woman tumbled to the ground, and immediately jumped up and reentered the fight.
While one officer held on to two women, the other deployed pepper spray to break up the mob.
As he pushed the crowd back with the spray, a juvenile female broke away, and headed back towards the other officer and the women he had detained, the Capital Gazette reported.
The unnamed juvenile punched one of the women in the face and spat at her, prompting the officer to call out for help from his partner.
The second officer then abandoned his efforts to hold the mob at bay, and instead ran over to his partner and the three brawling females, the video showed.
He struck the assaultive juvenile from behind, knocking her to the ground, but she continued to fight his efforts to handcuff her.
The crowd began to surround the officers, and at least one of the officers “arced” his Taser to warn them to stay away, the Capital Gazette reported.
Police ultimately arrested the two women, later identified as 32-year-old Tomeka Myisha Cooper and 21-year-old Nejeria Gross, as well as the 17-year-old female.
Gross and Cooper were uninjured during the melee, but the juvenile emerged from the brawl with small, superficial cuts on her head.
Police asked the girl’s mother if she wanted her taken to the hospital for treatment, but her mother declined.
Cooper has been charged with failure to obey, second-degree assault, and disorderly conduct.
Gross was charged with disorderly conduct, and the 17-year-old was arrested for assault.
The Annapolis Police Department has opened an internal investigation into the altercation, as per protocol for use-of-force incidents.
Buckley said he was “very concerned” about the altercation, and that department administrators are reviewing bodycam footage of what took place, according to The Arundel Patriot.
“We are committed to the highest standards for the Annapolis Police Department and the efforts to improve community policing,” the mayor said. “The safety and trust of community members, as well as APD officers, is of the utmost importance to me and my administration.”
You can watch footage of the officers’ encounter with the irate swarm in the video below. WARNING - Disturbing content and language.