Video released by The American Civil Liberties Union, shows Barstow Police Department forcing a heavily-pregnant black woman to the ground on her stomach for not revealing to them her last name within the specified time set by the police officer. The woman was involved in a school parking dispute with a white woman.
The white woman calls the cops to complain about being scared of the black woman. The incident is recorded by the bodycam of the police officer. He notes the white woman’s complaint about some petty row and proceeds to question the black woman, Charlena Michelle Cooks, who was dropping her daughter off at school at the time. He continues to demand answers from Ms Cooks, warning her that he is about to take action. He then proceeds to handcuff her by forcing her to the ground on her stomach, while ignoring her pleas that she is pregnant and to mind her stomach.
The police officer then puts her in the cop car and threatens her further with jail time while the cam records Ms Cooks’ astonishment at the bewildering serious of events; questioning her arrest by pleading that she has not done anything wrong. She was charged with obstruction, but the case was later dismissed.
Top Vial Videos reports:
This is the shocking moment a heavily-pregnant black woman is forced to the ground on her stomach by police after a petty row.
Charlena Michelle Cooks was dropping her daughter off at school when she got into an argument with a white woman and the police were called.
When officers arrived they asked the mum to give her name, and as she calls her boyfriend to check if she has to identify herself, she is forced to the ground and arrested.
However, another white woman involved in the row over a parking space is not asked for her details in the footage sparking claims that cops targeted the pregnant woman because of the colour of her skin.
In the footage, taken from the officer’s bodycam, she is screaming for help saying she is pregnant and begging not to be put on her stomach.
She was charged with resisting or obstructing an official but the case was later dismissed.
Mrs Cooks went on to have a healthy baby but has told Desert Dispatch she is still traumatised by the events of that day.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been that terrified in my life,” she said.
“I never saw that coming. I told him I was pregnant so he could proceed with caution. That didn’t happen and the first thing I thought was I didn’t want to fall to the ground.
” felt the pressure on my stomach from falling and I was calling for help.
But those guys are supposed to help me. But who is supposed to help me when they are attacking me?”
Barstow Police Department in California, has dismissed claims the arrest was race related, despite the white woman not being ask to provide her details.
Barstow city officials said: “This incident was in no way racially motivated, as implied by the American Civil Liberties Union,”
“Barstow is a racially diverse community, as is our police department, and we affirm we are commitment to protect and serve all of our residents.”
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