Disturbing video has surfaced of police officers in California shoving a woman who was eight-months pregnant at the time.
The New York Daily News reports that the ordeal followed what's being described as a "road rage incident" that took place between Charlena Michelle Cooks and an employee at Barstow, Calif.'s Crestline Elementary School in January. According to the Daily News, Cooks had just dropped her daughter off when the situation got tense after the officer who was on-hand resolve the situation got aggressive:
The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, which took up Cooks’ case and released the video, says California law does not require someone to identify themselves for no reason.
Cooks, in the video, tells the officer that she’d like to call her boyfriend and verify the law about identification. But the officer, after first promising to give her two minutes to find out whether she must give up her name, walks up to Cooks after 20 seconds and grabs her arm as she wriggles and starts to yell.
Do not touch me, do not touch me, I’m pregnant! Cooks begs as she’s pushed against a chain link fence. What the f--k is going on!
A second officer comes over and the officer with the camera on asks, Why are you resisting, ma’am?
He and the other officer then took her to the ground, stomach down, and handcuffed her behind her back.
The Daily News adds that Cooks was arrested and charged with resisting or obstructing a police officer. Although a judge dropped the charges and she eventually gave birth to her daughter with no complications, she's reportedly been banned from Crestline Elementary School property.
Cooks is also reportedly considering relocating, claiming that she no longer feels comfortable in Barstow. Meanwhile, the Daily News notes that, unsurprisingly, the city backed the officers involved in a statement:
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.
[via New York Daily News]