A Louisiana sheriff’s deputy is under investigation after he was filmed allegedly slamming a Black woman to the ground so hard that her braids tore from her scalp.
Shantel Arnold told investigators she encountered the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Deputy as she was walking home after being assaulted by a group of boys on 20 September.
Witnesses said they saw the officer get out of his patrol car and slam Ms Arnold, who is 4ft 8inch (1.42m) and weighs 100 pounds (45kgs), to the ground by her hair.
The much larger officer deputy then appears to kneel on her back, in a clip which has received nearly 300,000 views by Tuesday.
According to a transcript of her interview with police, obtained by Nola.com, Ms Arnold said: “I’m on my way home. I ain’t make it all the way to the block, the police come out of nowhere, swarming, getting me like, ‘Come here.’
“I’m like, ‘What’s going on? I just got beat up by two children, what ya’ll doing?’” she told investigators.
The incident, first reported by ProPublica in partnership with the the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate, has caused a furious response in New Orleans.
“This video depicts a Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputy engaged in horrid acts of brutality against an innocent woman,” Alanah Odoms, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, told The Washington Post.
Ms Arnold said in the days after the incident the deputy had driven past her family home in what they believe was an attempt to intimidate her.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is reportedly investigating the officer, but did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Independent.
The sheriff’s office is one of the largest law enforcement agencies that does not yet have body cameras. There are reportedly long-running tensions between New Orleans residents and the department over previous allegations of racist incidents involving the city’s black population.
Ms Arnold told Nola.com she had lost an eye as a result of a car accident when she was a child, and was a frequent target for bullies.