Dewitt Police Release Use of Force Video After Walmart Fight Turns Ugly
An altercation between police and two women at a Central New York Walmart has gone viral. Now the Dewitt Police Department has released a video, showing what happened.
Lieutenant Jerry Base of the Dewitt Police Department says officers were called to the East Syracuse Walmart on July 4 for a reported fight between five to six people. "While in route officers were advised employees were being threatened, struck in the face and the customers were being pepper-sprayed, including children."
Walmart surveillance camera, body camera, and customer cell phone videos show the officers responding to the fight and both women resisting arrest. It contains foul language and disturbing images that may be difficult to watch. Viewer discretion is advised.
"The officer is placing his weight on her hips and legs, not applying pressure to her back, stomach or neck," said Lt. Base.
One of the women can be seen trying to bite one of the officers before he hits her in the face. "Conclusions about whether the actions of the officers are consistent with department policies and the law will not be made until all the facts are known and the investigation is complete," Lt. Base said.
22-year-old Tajenik Byrd of Syracuse and 26-year-old Tyreana Edmonds, of Albany are facing several charges including attempted assault, criminal mischief, and resisting arrest, with more charges pending.
Protesters marched to the Dewitt Police Department on Friday, July 9.
Officer Rory Spain was placed on leave until the investigation is complete.