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BPD body worn camera footage shows woman punch sergeant, backup officer hitting back

body worn camera footage
Posted at 10:17 AM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 20:12:03-04

BALTIMORE — Baltimore Police have released body worn camera footage of a May 29 incident that first began circulating on social media.

In the video, a woman is seen punching a police sergeant two times in the face as he tries taking her into custody. A backup officer then clotheslines the woman to the ground.

The officers reaction grew quick criticism on social media resulting in Commissioner Michael Harrison to suspend the officer's police powers and order an internal investigation.

Newly released footage from the officers perspective show a little different story.

A car is seen driving in the northbound direction of Gay Street at the intersection of Baltimore Street.

Sergeant Graig Higley and other officers are there for traffic control and have been made aware of an erratic driver in the area.

Footage shows Higley with his hands up, signaling for the driver to stop for the red light.

The driver ignores Higley and continues to drive at him through the red light, ultimately making a wide u-turn. Higley and another officer pull their guns and order the driver out of the car.

Quickly the driver gets out and sits down. Higley is heard saying she's spitting at them. The woman is wearing a face mask but is not covering her nose and mouth at the time. As Higley holsters his gun and approaches the woman, she stands up and begins to repeatedly scream "don't touch me" and "I feel attacked."

The woman is then seen getting in the face of Higley yelling and challenging him to touch her, saying "if you don't violate my rights, I won't violate yours." Higley explains that she tried hitting him with the car, for which she replies "you were in the way." Higley responds saying the road was blocked. The woman then insults Higley, calling him stupid and tells him not to talk to her.

At this point Higley takes the woman's left arm to try and take her into custody. She immediately resists, continues to yell and strikes him twice in the face with her right hand.

Backup officer Terry Love then intervenes and clotheslines the woman to the ground.

A crowd quickly starts to form as officers repeatedly tell them to backup.

Eventually the woman is handcuffed and while still on the ground tells officers to get off of her, that they're violating her rights. The video then ends.

On Monday, a spokeswoman for States Attorney Marilyn Mosby said no criminal charges would be filed against Love for striking the woman.

"We have completed a thorough review of this unfortunate incident, and while we strongly disagree with the action the Officer took, it does not rise to the level of illegality," said spokeswoman Zy Richardson.

"While we cannot fully discuss this open and pending matter, we are working in conjunction with a specialty court, the defense attorney and the victim to determine the best path forward," said Richardson in a statement.

Love however is still currently suspended, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

It's unclear if the woman has or will be charged for assaulting Higley. Her name hasn't been released.