Warning: The graphic embedded above video contains violence and may be disturbing to some viewers.
A police officer in Round Rock, Texas, was filmed as he threw a DWI suspect to the ground, knocking her unconscious. The incident took place in a parking lot as her 6-year-old daughter looked on in horror.
In the video uploaded by USA Today, Texas officer Ben Johnson can be seen slamming DWI suspect Viviana Keith to the ground. However, she lands with her head on the ground and is immediately knocked unconscious. The New York Daily News reports that the cell phone footage was captured by a Wing Stop patron who says the incident unfolded in the parking lot. The patron wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.
However, the footage seems to show Officer Ben Johnson placing the drunk woman under arrest. When the officer says the woman began to resist arrest, he can be seen throwing her to the ground. The woman lands on her head and is immediately knocked unconscious. Once on the ground, the woman’s 6-year-old daughter can be heard screaming, “Mommy, Mommy!” and running to her aid.
Those at the strip mall where the incident took place say they were startled by the excessive force used against the woman and feel an investigation should be performed. However, the police chief is defending the officer’s actions and says that his actions were justified. The police officer was allowed to remain on active duty while the internal investigation is performed.
“The officer was very professional, was talking to her calm, he wasn’t excited, he wasn’t angry. It’s unfortunate, the fact that this lady did what appears to hit her head and was knocked unconscious, but I’ll tell you, the officer did what he was supposed to do in a situation like that.”
The police report indicates that the woman was intoxicated while out with her 6-year-old daughter and that the child said she had not been fed all day. Does this justify the excessive use of force seen in the video by the police officer?