A video showing a Michigan sheriff’s deputy punching a black woman in the head several times during her arrest early Tuesday has sparked protests and outrage from the community.
Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton says they are currently conducting an internal investigation of the encounter. Clayton also stated that the officer seen hitting and throwing the woman to the ground has been placed on paid administrative leave along with several other officers who were involved in the incident.
“There is absolutely no doubt, and no argument from me, that the images in the video are disturbing,” Clayton said. “It warrants a complete investigation.”
Tuesday afternoon, demonstrators marched in front of the sheriff’s department headquarters, chanting such things as “no justice, no peace.”
According to authorities, the encounter occurred when Sha’Teina Grady El and her husband, Dan Grady El, ignored orders to leave the scene of a shooting after officers formed a perimeter to keep community members away as they searched for a potential shooter.
The sheriff’s department was called to scene on reports 30 people were arguing and shots had been fired. Upon arrival, the responding deputies found a 34-year-old female gunshot victim who required medical attention and several bystanders observing the scene, prompting a call to other police agencies for assistance.
In his statement, Clayton said his office is investigating the use of force against the Grady Els and their arrests. He says the sheriff’s department is committed to sharing all the facts in the case with the public as it becomes available.