Baltimore County Police has launched a full-scale investigation into circumstances that led to one of its officers violently slamming a 76-year-old grandmother on the ground outside her home.
The disturbing incident left the septuagenarian shaken, Independent reports.
In a statement Tuesday, Chief Melissa Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department, described the footage “unsettling” and announced full investigation had been ordered in which police body camera footage will be reviewed.
Police arrived at the 76-year-old Rena Mellerson’s home in Baltimore County on Friday in pursuit for her granddaughter following a disorderly conduct incident at a different location.
The arrival of the police at Ms. Mellerson’s home and what ensued after was recorded by a neighbor in suburban Gwynn Oak, Maryland using his mobile phone.
The video shows Ms. Mellerson being led out of the house by an officer. Another officer then runs up to the front door and throws her to the ground.
Ms. Mellerson proclaims her innocence, and shocked bystanders can be heard questioning why such force was used against her, reports Independent. By the end of the video, six officers surround the now handcuffed grandmother.
Independent also reports of an earlier incident, where Cierra Floyd, Ms. Mellerson’s granddaughter, is said by police to have sworn at officers and caused a scene.
According to sources close to the family, when an officer from the Baltimore County Police arrived at Ms. Mellerson’s home, he violently pounded the front door and tried to force himself in.
Having being allowed into the home by Ms. Mellerson, the officer moved to arrest Ms. Floyd but she is said to have rejected the arrest and it was at the point he discharged pepper spray and a Taser was fired into a wall.
According to Independent, the incident happened in front of Floyd’s six and nine-year-old daughters who were in the home at the time and are said to have inhaled pepper spray.
The officer reportedly violently ejected Ms. Mellerson from the house and yanked her to the ground. He then handcuffed, arrested and took her into custody on charges of assault, interfering with an arrest and obstructing and hindering.
Ms. Mellerson’s daughter Barbara questioned whether the officers had been properly trained and said: “A reprimand is not going to be justice for me. You can reprimand them, but I want them terminated.”
“I don’t think you need the training to know not to slam a 76-year-old woman to the ground,” she added. “I don’t think you need classes for that.”
Floyd was also arrested and charged with similar violations in addition to a charge of disorderly conduct relating to the earlier incident, reports Independent.
“Ms. Mellerson let the officer in and he took her into custody and he escorted her out of the home without incident,“ her attorney J. Wyndal Gordon told reporters.
“I hope this will never happen to anyone else again,” Ms Mellerson told WJZ Wednesday. “It’s not a good feeling.”