A Northern California police officer was recently filmed body slamming a woman during a traffic stop but the department is so far denying excessive force.
The Rio Vista Police Department is preparing to release body cam footage of a violent interaction that started with 25-year-old Mea Thomas being pulled over and detained for driving on suspended registration, police say.
Thomas called her mother, Deshaunna Payne, after she was pulled over and authorities attempted to tow her car.
“A lot of the officers here are familiar with me,” Payne explained to ABC 10 News. “Whenever my kids get pulled over, I come. I want to know what’s going on…I want to see everything.”
Thomas’ sister, Cherish, and her mother questioned the officers who threatened to arrest them if they didn’t return to their vehicle. When the women continued to ask questions, one of the cops body slammed Cherish, 31, and arrested her. Payne, 47, recorded the incident before she was also arrested.
“I would like to know what was his problem with two women asking questions that you were so violent,” Payne said. “That you felt you needed to be physical. You needed to slam her to the ground. That just didn’t make no sense to me.”
Rio Vista is around 40 miles east of Vallejo, California where a young man was fatally shot by a police officer while sleeping in his car in February.
According to Rio Vista Police Chief Dan Dailey, Cherish “continued to resist and refused to comply” before the officer “tackled her to the ground in order to gain control of her while his partner stepped in” to arrest Payne.
The department has opened an internal investigation as part of standard procedure.
Watch footage of the incident below.