Even before the dust settles on the gruesome murder of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American by a white Minneapolis Police officer who choked him to death, another gut-wrenching video of a Michigan sheriff has emerged in which he can be seen punching an African American woman in the head several times.
While Sha’Teina Grady El was being punched multiple times by the Sheriff’s deputy during her arrest early Tuesday, another officer could be seen tasing her husband, Dan Grady El.
Officers involved in the disturbing incident have been sent on administrative leave including the deputy caught on the video punching Sha’Teina. An internal investigation had also been launched into the incident, the Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton said.
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The incident, which happened in Ypsilanti Township, about 40 miles west of Detroit sparked a massive demonstration near the Sheriff’s office Wednesday. Michigan Live reports that about 100 people blocked the intersection near the office to protest what they believed is the continued harassment and maltreatment of African Americans.
The protest which followed a similar one on Tuesday, escalated as news of Sha’Teina emerged she was being transferred to the Taylor Police Department rather than being released from the Washtenaw County Jail.
“We cannot continue to allow this,” the Associated Press quoted Trische’ Duckworth, a protest organizer with the nonprofit Survivors Speak, as saying. Duckworth added: “All around the country, we see police and agencies that don’t fully represent the communities. We need police in the community other than killing us, beating us and harming us.”
The Grady Els were ordered to vacate the scene of a potential shooting in the Apple Ridge neighborhood of Ypsilanti Township around midnight on May 26. They, however, refused. Amid the application of force to get them to leave, the unnamed deputy punched Sha’Teina multiple times and another tased her husband.
“We were just trying to videotape to make sure nothing happened outside my daughter’s house, which had kids in the area,” said Dan Grady El, who was released from the county jail without charges. “That was our whole mission.”
His wife was also released from the Taylor Police Department for a felony charge on a $2,500 bond.
William Amadeo, who is the lawyer for the Grady Els, revealed that he would be pursuing “felonious assault charges” against the unnamed deputy.
“Talking to the family today, which is the first chance I’ve had to do so, (the altercation) was horrifying,” he said. “These people are victims, and they’re charged with a crime? This is what is bothering me right now.”
“We’re getting the run around from federal judges because they don’t want to prosecute these officers,” Dan Grady El told Michigan Live. “They’re trying to make this as difficult as possible for us, and we’re in the appeals process now.”
Sheriff Clayton called the incident “disturbing” noting that “It warrants a complete investigation.” “We are finders of facts,” Clayton said in a statement. “We want to seek the truth, find the facts, and provide all the context. What was going on, what was the specific resistant behavior, what was the officers’ attempts at use of force. We’re going to respond to that.”