GRAPHIC: Police officer appears to hit woman in head during arrest
LYNN, Mass. (WCVB) - A Massachusetts police officer allegedly punched a woman in the head during a March 19 arrest as she resisted, according to the Lynn Police Department.
In an effort to be transparent, the department shared video of the incident on Facebook.
Lynn police say officers were called to a rooming house on High Street early Sunday because a woman, identified by authorities as Jessica Wagle, was refusing to leave a resident’s unit.
The situation turned violent when police say Wagle did not comply with officers’ commands. They told her she was under arrest.
Police say not only did Wagle kick officers, but she also attempted to bite one.
The officers struggled with her for more than two minutes.
They used pepper spray on Wagle, but the department says it did not appear to have any effect on her. It did affect the officers, though.
It was at that point that it appears an officer punched Wagle.
GRAPHIC: Some may find this video disturbing.
Some people who witnessed the violent arrest are questioning the tactics.
“I just think it’s a mental health issue. She is not right in her head. This is a person that walks around talking to herself because she hears things,” a witness who wanted to remain unidentified says.
The incident is now under mandatory review, as per protocol.
Lynn police say it preliminarily appears from body camera video the officers acted within the department’s use of force policy.
“The reaction that I had watching it is that this is not what we would hope for as the optimal scenario, and like I said, the police department determined that this was within the parameters of the use of force policy,” Lynn Mayor Jared Nicholson says.
Wagle is expected to be arraigned on multiple charges including assault, battery on a police officer and resisting arrest.
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