A California police department just finished paying a $30,000 settlement for arresting two brothers who refused to provide identification and may soon pay another settlement to another woman whom they pounced on and arrested for the same thing.
The ACLU of Southern California released a video last week showing Barstow police officers wrestling a pregnant woman to the ground after she did not immediately provide her full name, arresting her for resisting arrest last January.
However, moments earlier, the officer’s body cam footage shows the cop talking to the other woman in the altercation and he never asks for her name.
In fact, he even told that woman that “”I don’t see a crime that’s been committed.”
But when he walked over to Charlena Michelle Cooks to get more information about the incident that took place in front of an elementary school, he asked for her name. Cooks identified herself by her middle name, telling the officer she need to make a call to find out if she is legally obliged to provide her full name.
“I”m going to give you two minutes,” the cop told her.
Twenty seconds later, that cop and a second cop were grabbing on to her, twisting her arms behind her back.
Then they wrestled her to the ground, forcing her to lie on her stomach, ordering her to stop resisting as she protested the arrest.
The incident took place on January 26, 2015 as Cooks was dropping her second-grader off to school. The other woman was apparently a school employee. The dispute was other whether or not Cooks was driving down a one-way lane in front of the school.
Words were exchanged and the school employee accused Cooks of throwing something at the window, but there was no damage, which is why the cop told her he didn’t see any evidence of a crime.
But that didn’t stop him from treating Cooks as if she did commit a crime, even though she denied throwing anything at the other woman.
According to the Desert Dispatch:
Barstow city officials said after reviewing a video of a police officer arresting a pregnant woman in January it was “apparent” that Charlena Michelle Cooks “actively resisted arrest.”
The city issued its statement in response to the American Civil Liberties Union’s release of the video last week.
“The Barstow Police Department continues to be proactive in training its officers to assess and handle interactions with emotionally charged individuals while conducting an investigation, for the protection of everyone involved,” the statement read.
The ACLU released the video before reporting a settlement agreement with the city of Barstow that awarded two Northern California brothers $30,000 stemming their 2014 arrest. The brothers were arrested on suspicion of resisting or obstructing a peace officer or other public safety official after not providing their identification to Barstow officers at a local restaurant.
The agreement forces the Barstow Police Department to retrain officers on stop-and-identify laws.
Perhaps they should draw up a new agreement that requires Barstow cops to deescalate situations like this one rather than escalate them to the point of needlessly arresting a pregnant woman dropping her child off at school who may or may not have driven down a one-way lane.