US policeman who punched woman said ‘you’re about to get dropped’

Video footage shows officer hitting 20-year-old on beach after refusing to give her name

Emily Weinman (20) of Philadelphia, was shown being struck while held down on the sand during the incident on Saturday in New Jersey. Image: Screenshot from ‘Guardian’ Youtube video

Emily Weinman (20) of Philadelphia, was shown being struck while held down on the sand during the incident on Saturday in New Jersey. Image: Screenshot from ‘Guardian’ Youtube video

 

Police bodycam footage of a woman who was punched in the head by an officer on a beach in the US shows she was told “you’re about to get dropped” and slammed to the ground after refusing to tell him her surname.

Emily Weinman (20) of Philadelphia, was shown being struck while held down on the sand during the incident on Saturday in New Jersey, in video taken by a bystander that emerged this week.

The footage did not show what led to the arrest but Ernie Troiano jnr, the mayor of Wildwood, where the incident occurred, alleged in comments to the Philadelphia Inquirer that Ms Weinman was the “aggressor” and that body camera footage would show officers being insulted and spat on.

However, the footage released by Wildwood police does not show Ms Weinman insulting officers or spitting at them until she has been pinned down. She has claimed she was spitting out sand that was in her mouth.

Underage drinking

The bodycam footage shows officers initially questioning Ms Weinman about underage drinking. She tells police that beverages near her are unopened but an officer replies that it constitutes “open display on the beach”.

Ms Weinman takes a breathalyser test but when an officer asks for her surname she refuses, telling him: “You’re mad because you thought we were drinking . . . your breathalyser came up negative.”

She backs away after he tells another officer to handcuff her and he responds by telling her: “You’re about to get dropped.” At that point her hands appear to go towards the bodycam and the footage is momentarily scrambled. She is then seen on the floor, screaming, being held by her hair.

She tells the officer to stop choking her and “get the f**k off me” and an arm can be seen coming down – apparently the moment when she was struck by the officer. Ms Weinman screams more and tells him: “You’re not allowed to hit me like that and choke me . . . I didn’t do anything wrong.” It is then that she spits and says to the officer: “You white piece of trash.” As she is led away crying she again calls him “a piece of trash” and “dirtball”.

After she is put in a police vehicle, other people on the beach ask the officer why she was hit. When he says she was kicking them, they dispute his account.

He can be heard giving an account of his actions to another officer. He says: “She tried walking away from me, I tried grabbing her, she tried kicking at us so I slammed her on the ground, she kicked him [another officer] and then I hit her a couple of times and put her in cuffs.”

Police said gaps in the footage were a result of the officer switching his bodycam on and off during the incident and also because Ms Weinman struck the officer in the torso, causing the camera to shut off.

Ms Weinman is facing several charges including aggravated assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Two of the officers involved have been reassigned to administrative duty while the incident is investigated. – Guardian