Kansas City, MO – Social media users are accusing a Kansas City police officer of brutality after a cell phone video showed him swiftly ending a brawl between three women (video below).
The incident occurred just after midnight in the Westport entertainment district, WDAF reported.
Cell phone footage of the altercation did not capture what led up to the fight, nor what occurred afterwards.
The video showed an officer as he released his hold on one of the women to assist another officer, who was trying to restrain a second female.
The camera’s view of the second female was partially blocked by a third woman, who was being held back by a man in a white shirt.
Some social media users speculated that the second woman was holding onto the third woman – possibly by grasping onto her hair.
The officer suddenly moved towards the second woman, and delivered a strike to her “arms and hands,” the department told WDAF in a statement.
At the same moment, the officer who was restraining her yanked her away from the third woman, and the second woman fell onto the ground, the video showed.
“To release her [the woman’s] grip, another officer appears to forcefully slap downward at her arms and hands,” the Kansas City Police Department said in a statement to WDAF. “This, coupled with her fighting and/or resisting likely caused her to fall into the direction of the officer and onto the ground.”
“Regardless of males or females that are resisting, officers train in tactics to safely bring these situations under control,” the department added. “Some of the methods officers train in include strikes to release grasps of objects or other people.”
“I didn’t see her do anything towards the woman,” said Diana Shelton, who viewed the footage while attending the Westport Art Fair, according to WDAF. “It didn’t look like she was armed with anything. That’s not right. I just think he used excessive force and should have handled the situation differently.”
“I don’t think he had to go, like, karate chop her,” Raquel Diaz agreed. “I think he should’ve just pulled her away.”
Diaz’s sister, Andrea, said she believed the officer was “hurting” the woman, and that he was “using excessive force.”
Many social media users also came to the officer’s defense.
“I’m the first to call out excessive force but he was definitely breaking her hold on the other girl’s hair and she fell,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Calm down,” another person tweeted. “He didn’t punch her he was breaking a hand hold. That is an accepted tactical move.”
“If you watch the video closely he went up and [smacked] her [because] she wouldn’t let go of the other girl,” a Facebook user noted, according to The Kansas City Star. “I’m not saying he was right but he didn’t punch her nor was it in the face.”
After watching the video, Kansas City Councilwoman Alissia Canady said she contacted the Kansas City police chief and asked for the department to investigate the officer’s use of force during the altercation, WDAF reported.
It was unclear if any of the women involved in the altercation were arrested.
You can see the video clip below: