Cops in Barstow, California, investigating an alleged road rage incident, wrestled a pregnant woman to the ground who they say was resisting arrest.
Officers showed up at Crestline Elementary School to investigate a dispute between Charlena Cooks and another woman, a school employee, in the parking lot, when she was dropping off her daughter, who attended the school.
As captured on one of the officer's body cameras, the cops got into a scuffle with Cooks, who was eight-months pregnant at the time, after she was unwilling to give them her full name before calling her boyfriend on the phone to see if that disclosure was proper under the circumstances.
Cops apparently never asked the other woman for her ID.
The lead officer seems agreeable at first with the phone-a-friend request, but a few seconds later, he and another officer attempted to take the woman into custody, at which point she repeatedly shouted "do not touch me" and then revealed that she was pregnant.
See body camera footage embedded below.
The incident occurred in January, but has apparently has recently been released by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. According to the ACLU, "California law does not require someone to identify themselves 'for no reason.' "
A misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest was subsequently dismissed by a judge, but Cooks was initially banned from school property. Once the case was resolved, school officials rescinded the ban, however.
Cooks, fortunately, gave birth to healthy baby in March "but it [is] still being monitored by doctors," the Daily Mail explained.
The city of Barstow, which reviewed the footage and determined that the pregnant woman was "actively" resisting arrest, issued a statement about the encounter, the Desert Dispatch reported.
"The Barstow Police Department continues to be proactive in training its officers to assess and handle interactions with emotionally charged individuals while conducting an investigation, for the protection of everyone involved."City officials added that "this incident was in no way racially motivated, as implied by the ACLU. Barstow is a racially diverse community, as is our Police Department, and we affirm our Police Department's commitment to protect and serve all of our residents."Reacting to what happened, Charlena Cooks said that she doesn't feel safe in the city and is planning to move.
"I don't think I've ever been that terrified in my life. I never saw that coming. I told him I was pregnant so he could proceed with caution. That didn't happen and the first thing I thought was I didn't want to fall to the ground. I felt the pressure on my stomach from falling and I was calling for help. But those guys are supposed to help me. But who is supposed to help me when they are attacking me?"The Desert Dispatch noted that the Cooks has not decided yet if she is going to file a lawsuit against the Barstow police.
Judging by the video, do you think cops acted appropriately or inappropriately when they tried to take the pregnant woman into custody and handcuff her?
[Image via YouTube]