An unidentified police officer was filmed punching a possibly mentally ill naked woman at least ten times in a Detroit hospital, and a criminal investigation has into the use of force has begun, CNN reports. The cop has been suspended with pay.
The incident began with police responding to a call at around 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday of a “lewd and lascivious” act in progress. The also unidentified woman was walking around naked, though she was not agitated. Officers gave her a robe, did not handcuff her, and transported her to Detroit Receiving Hospital. When they arrived, things changed. The woman took the robe off, spat on hospital employees, bit a security officer and attempted to bite the police officer in the video.
Taken bystander-filmed video shows two police officers and two security guards attempting to restrain the naked woman. At one point, she turns her back, and that’s when the police officer begins punching her at least 10 times. Detroit Police Chief James Craig says that’s the moment in which the department begins to have “grave concerns for the officer’s actions,” especially since officers are trained to not use “hard hands” on someone who has their back turned. The woman was eventually treated for minor injuries and sustained bruises.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig made sure to stress that even though the officer is now under investigation, he is also entitled to due process. The body cam footage will “tell a little bit of a different story.” Craig added that hospital staff who was interviewed confirmed the woman was aggressive. The officer, who is an 18-year veteran, has had six minor recorded use of force incidents before, one as recently as 2015.