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Lawyers release video of officer tossing elderly woman, police chief orders investigation

Posted at 2:29 PM, Jan 14, 2020

TOWSON, Md. — On Wednesday Rena Mellerson, the 76-year-old woman who was thrown to the ground by a Baltimore County Police Officer, spoke out.

In the emotional press conference, the children in the home at the time of the violent arrest were crying and Attorney J. Wyndal Gordon demanded justice.

Gordon said they plan to file a lawsuit against the department and want to see harsh punishment for the officers involved.

“I hope this will never happen to anyone else again because it’s not a good feeling,” Mellerson said.

A video of the incident was captured by a neighbor, and Gordon laid out what the family said happened leading up to it.

Gordon said Mellerson's granddaughter Cierra Floyd was concerned about a child who was assaulting other children on a school bus and got off and was damaging property.

Gordon said Floyd and another adult confronted the child, who then turned and attacked them and their cars, so they called police.

“Cpl. Brennan responded to the call in a very rude and aggressive manor,” said Gordon. “He was unreasonably hostile towards Cierra Floyd who was attempting to explain what happened.”

Gordon said Floyd left the scene to get her children from her grandmother's house and she didn't know she was followed by Cpl. Brennan.

Cpl. Brennan opened the door and they say he attempted to force his way in.

Mellerson said she was trying to figure out what was going on and demanded the police stay outside or produce a warrant.

Once inside the lawyer says Cpl. Brennan used pepper spray and his taser.

“At this point, I'm cooperative,” said Floyd. “A burst of OC spray with my child and my friend’s child standing at the top of the steps in full flown tears crying. Imagine how I feel as a mother, as a granddaughter. Sir you could have killed me.”

That's where the video starts with Cpl. Brennan escorting Mellerson out and this man identified as Officer Schmidt rushes in and throwing her down.

“I don’t think you need to go to classes for that,” said Gordon. “I don’t think you need to go to the police academy for that. We’re talking about violent sadistic, misogynistic behavior. We’re talking about disgracing the badge that many officers wear proudly.”

Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt released a statement Tuesday, ordering a thorough investigation into the incident.

Hyatt said the investigation will be expedited and include interviews, and a review of body-worn camera footage and other documentation.

Once the investigation is completed, Hyatt said the body-worn camera footage will be released to the public.

"I thank the individual who taped the incident - our residents are important partners in our communities. We hold our officers to a high standard of accountability. Maintaining the trust of those who live, work and visit Baltimore County is paramount as we continue to work together to keep communities safe," Hyatt said.