Watch and vote — Body cam video of beach arrest released
Is this excessive force? Watch the newly released police body cam video and tell us your opinion at the end of this article. Emily Weinman, 20, of Philadelphia is confronted by Class II special law enforcement patrolmen (basically the summer beach and shore town cops) over having containers of alcohol on the beach. They had her take a breathalyzer which she passed, twice, with a 0.0. Emily says she was with her aunt, her boyfriend and 18 month old daughter. In the video you can hear her telling the police that not only was she not drinking, (confirmed by the breathalyzer) but the containers were unopened. They say that didn't matter.
The officers decide to cite her anyway and ask for her name, which she refuses to give. Things escalate. At one point you hear an officer say, "You're about to get dropped." A panicked Weinman screams for her boyfriend as the police officer wearing the body cam comes at her. It appears her arms come up to push him in his chest. Yet another interpretation could be her arms are coming up in a defensive posture and that he runs into her arms as he tries to take her down. The struggle ensues, with her limbs flailing and her cursing at the officers as one gets her in a chokehold and punches her hard at least twice to her head.
After the first video was released from a beachgoer's phone many who called our show were shocked the officers took it to that level and couldn't handle a woman appearing to be about 100 pounds without resorting to the punches. Many called it excessive force. We're curious if this body cam video changes anything. I really wish I could see a third video showing both the cop and the woman as he rushes her and her arms come up. I'd like to see that perspective to see if it was really her trying to shove the cop or her arms simply going up in a surprised defensive way and him running into those arms. In fact, at the 5:20 mark of this video you'll hear the officer with the body cam describe the incident to his superior and never once mention that she shoved him in the chest. He says, "She tried walking away from me, so I grabbed her. She tried kicking at us, so I slammed her on the ground." In any case the police are calling it an assault. Let us know what you think in the poll below.
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