A viral video of a police officer in Birmingham Alabama physically assaulting a black woman in Walmart on Tuesday has spurred authorities to investigate the incident. The woman was slammed to the ground in the video that has been shared countless times on social media.
The unwarranted altercation occurred when the security guard at Roebuck Walmart, who is an off-duty police officer, tried to handcuff the woman for not wearing a face mask. She allegedly refused to comply to his instructions to wear one after their initial confrontation, AL.com reported.
In the video, the security guard is seen struggling to put handcuffs on the woman and he is seen lifting her up into the air. He flips her and violently slams her to the ground and an onlooking crowd gasps in disbelief at the incident.
A woman close to the victim, who was also not wearing a face mask got furious and shouted at the security guard for being aggressive with her friend, according to TMZ.
The police have since reassured the public that the altercation is under investigation, Birmingham Alabama police spokesperson Sgt. Rod Mauldin said in a statement.
“The same day the interaction occurred immediate actions were taken for the sake of public trust and transparency,” the statement said.
“A preliminary investigation consistent with the Birmingham Police Department reportable use of force protocols were immediately initiated and investigators of the Internal Affairs Division are conducting an investigation. This protocol applies for all use of force incidents that occur within the Birmingham Police Department.”
He continued by congratulating the Birmingham Police Department for working tirelessly to enforce safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We understand we are operating in trying times. The Birmingham Police Department has maintained a consistent community oriented educational approach to the surrounding circumstances of Covid-19. As a department, we have been successful in our efforts to gain compliance and cooperation from the vast majority of citizens in Birmingham.
“Our records indicate, we have not issued any citations or made arrests as it relates to the shelter in place ordinance or the face-covering ordinance. We have made a valiant effort to gain voluntary compliance and we will continue to work cohesively with the community.”