A shocking video showing a Philadelphia cop punching a woman and knocking her to the ground has been posted on YouTube. The incident was captured on film during yesterday's Puerto Rican Day Parade in Philadelphia.
The incident occurred yesterday at the 50th Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade, Philadelphia’s largest outdoor celebration of Puerto Rican and Latino heritage. According to Visit Philly.com, over 1,500 participants take part in the parade, which was hosted this year by Daisy Maria Martinez, the chef and host of Viva Daisy! on the Food Network.
The video published on YouTube by Gisela Valentin, shows a mixed crowd with a large contingent of police officers in the center. As the officers stand with their backs to camera, an anonymous figure who is never fully captured on film, hurls some water in their direction.
Immediately the group of officers turn around to respond, but one officer wearing a white shirt assumes that it is the woman standing right behind him. Spontaneously and erroneously judged because of the water bottle in her hand, he lashes out at her with such force that she's knocked to the ground.
Without given a chance to explain, the female is handcuffed and hauled off. As she's led away by two other officers, she directly passes the camera and is clearly bleeding from the mouth.
Reactions to the video on YouTube have been both swift and mostly damning.
He hit an innocent woman, and caused her to bleed. That's a big enough mistake that should cost him his job.Ricko940 however, disagreed :
She was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe next time she will mind her own business and give the officers space to work. She did look suspicious walking away like that. I also don't hear what was said and this is the only point of view you see of this incident. Don't be so quick to judge.
But 99Steve fired back at Ricko940:
The fact that you would even try to defend this is beyond disgusting.
According to Philly.com:
Police spokesman Lt. Ray Evers said the department is "fully aware" of the video and what it depicts. He said the officer involved has been identified and Internal Affairs opened up an investigation in to the incident this morning. He said Commissioner Charles Ramsey, who is in San Diego at a conference, is also aware of the video.
Evers would not identify the officer except to say he was a supervisor in Highway Patrol. The 39-year-old female was apparently given a disorderly conduct citation for the incident, "the only person given a citation for the incident," Evers said.
So, what do you think?