Video: Investigation underway after UOF incident during traffic stop
Video shows the LEO picking up a woman and slamming her to the ground after she approached the area where her relatives were being detained
San Francisco Chronicle
RIO VISTA, Calif. — Cell phone footage captured Sunday evening during a Rio Vista traffic stop showed a police officer slam a woman to the ground after she approached the area where her relatives were being detained.
Sisters Mea and Monaisha Thomas and brother-in-law Tyrone Clayton Jr. were on their way home from the store at sunset Sunday when a Rio Vista police officer pulled the family’s car over for suspended vehicle registration, according to multiple media outlets.
Officers detained two of the passengers in their car before their relatives, Deshaunna Payne and Cherish Thomas, came to the scene, Rio Vista police said in a press release obtained by FOX40. Payne and Cherish Thomas refused to obey officers’ commands to stay back and not interfere, police said.
Footage posted on Facebook shows an officer grabbing Cherish Thomas’ arms and attempting to hold them behind her back. Police said she was detained after she tried to walk toward the first car.
“So now you’re manhandling my daughter, and you shouldn’t be touching her,” Payne says in the video.
Seconds later, the officer picks Cherish Thomas up and slams her to the ground, sending a small cloud of dust flying into the air. He then puts in a knee in her back as she lays face down on the ground.
“Oh, no,” Payne says as a second officer pushes her back. “Get him off my daughter!”
Police accused Payne of advancing on the two officers and trying to hit one of them.
The two people originally detained by officers tried to escape the patrol car by kicking and damaging the door and window, according to police.
“That is a very small snippet of video that does not accurately portray the totality of the circumstances,” Rio Vista Police Chief Dan Dailey said.
The Thomas family did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Cherish Thomas was taken to a local hospital, according to KCRA-TV, which reported that her head was slammed into the ground and the incident left her with headaches, bruising and soreness.
“I was scared,” she told KCRA. “I’m not going to lie. Because at the end of the day, that’s a police officer, and they can do what they want to do.”
Mea Thomas posted footage of the stop from the patrol car on her Facebook page.
“He said she was being resistant but clearly you can see she wasn’t, she got body slammed for no apparent reason,” she wrote.
The family called on the department to fire the officer who used force. The Rio Vista Police Department is conducting an internal investigation, the agency said.
An outside investigator might be hired to review the case by the end of this week, Dailey said, while body camera footage from the stop could be released as soon as Tuesday afternoon.
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- Use of Force