On Friday afternoon police arrived at 76-year-old Rena Mellerson’s home in search of her granddaughter Cierra Floyd. Cierra was wanted on charges of disorderly conduct after police say she cursed a scene and cursed at officers at a different location earlier that day.
During the encounter, Mellerson was taken out of her home by police and slammed to the ground before she was arrested for allegedly interfering with the arrest of Floyd.
Mellerson’s family members are questioning Baltimore County police officers’ use of force after seeing the video of her being thrown to the ground by an officer.
A neighbor supplied a video to WBAL-TV 11 with a recording of the incident. Police also have body camera video.
The video shows Mellerson being led out of her home by one officer when another officer runs up to the house and throws Mellerson to the ground before arresting her.
Mellerson’s family said police did not mention an arrest warrant for Floyd during the incident.
Both Floyd and Mellerson were taken into custody.
“My mother is a 76-year-old woman, lives alone, minds her business, never broke the law. She doesn’t even have a moving violation,” said Mellerson’s daughter, Barbara Mellerson. “For her to go through something like this is ridiculous, and every time she talks about it, she starts shaking. I had to take my mother to the hospital.”
A police spokesman said the incident is under review.
In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, Chief Melissa Hyatt called the video “unsettling” and said she has “ordered a thorough investigation.” After that investigation is complete, the body-worn camera footage will be made public, she said.
“I thank the individual who taped the incident – our residents are important partners in our communities,” Hyatt said. “We hold our officers to a high standard of accountability. Maintaining the trust of those who live, work and visit Baltimore County is paramount as we continue to work together to keep communities safe.”
County Executive John Olszewski Jr. also responded.
“Every resident of the Baltimore County community deserves to be treated with respect by law enforcement,” he said in a statement. “This video raises serious concerns and warrants a full and thorough investigation.”