Tough tactics

City officials defend cops who threw pregnant black woman to the ground

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Officials in Barstow, California, are standing behind two police officers who used force to arrest a pregnant woman, wrestling her to the ground as they cuffed her, back in January. The entire incident was captured on video by one of the officer’s body cameras. Charges against the woman were later dropped, but officials have declared that the cops handled the situation properly. The incident began when a white woman complained to police that a black woman was driving aggressively through a parking lot. At first, the officer is skeptical, telling the white woman that he didn’t see evidence of a crime having been committed. As she persisted, though, he promised a police report. He approached the black woman and began questioning her. When the black woman took issue with his line of questioning, he asked her for her name. She declined to give him her name — which, according to a local ACLU spokesperson, she had the right to do — and the officer eventually gave her a two-minute ultimatum to comply with his request. After no more than 30 seconds, he and his partner moved in, grabbed her and began applying handcuffs — all as she screamed out that she was eight months pregnant and an arrest was unnecessary. The entire video runs 11 minutes and the arrest sequence, depicting the officers wrestling her to the ground, is jarring. After the woman is in cuffs, she lies on the ground, face down with her hands in cuffs. The woman, Michelle Cooks, was charged with resisting arrest, but a judge later threw out the charge. Cooks gave birth to a healthy baby in March, but says she’s looking to move out of Barstow.

Read the full story at CBS News.

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