New Jersey police released bodycam video Wednesday that shows an officer pinning a beachgoer to the ground and punching her in the head, days after cellphone footage of her arrest went viral over the weekend.
The nine-minute clip features graphic footage of Wildwood police apprehending Emily Weinman, 20, while she sat on the beach with her daughter, her daughter’s father and a friend.
Police officers asked Weinman to breathe into a breath analysis device after they found alcohol near her beach blankets. She apparently passed the test and said the booze belonged to her aunt. Weinman was apprehended after she refused to provide her last name to the officers.
“You thought we were drinking so now you’re mad because your Breathalyzer came up negative,” Weinman told the two cops as they attempted to write her a ticket. “You don’t need my last name.”
“OK, that’s it ― I’m done with you,” one police officer can be heard saying in the video before asking his partner for handcuffs.
“You’re about to get dropped,” the officer tells Weinman when she walks away and tells him to leave her alone.
Weinman puts her hands up and moves forward as the cop approaches her, but it’s unclear from the video who initiates the contact. The video cuts out momentarily, then shows Weinman screaming as the police officer pulls her to the ground and grabs her hair.
“They’re choking me!” Weinman yells while trying to free herself from the officer.
“That’s it,” the cop says before punching her in the head several times.
The officers involved in the arrest were patrolmen Thomas Cannon, John Hillman and Robert Jordan, according to NJ.com. It is not clear which officer hit Weinman.
Weinman was handcuffed, put into a police vehicle, and charged with two counts of aggravated assault on an officer and possession of alcohol as a minor.
In the video, the arresting officer can be heard explaining the situation to his colleagues:
I go to stop her for ... underage drinking. She says she’s 20. She had Twisted Teas. She wouldn’t give me her last name, so I said, ‘Hey, if you’re not going to give me your information, you’re going to be locked up.’
She tried walking away from me. Once she tried walking away from me, I tried grabbing her. She tried kicking at us so I slammed her on the ground. She kicked him and then I hit her a couple times. And then I put her in cuffs and locked her up.
Wildwood Police Chief Robert Regalbuto defended the officers’ actions.
“From what I see on the video and only on the video, from not even talking to the officers, I think they did a decent job,” Regalbuto told NJ.com. “I think we could have done a better job at trying to explain to her, but it didn’t appear Ms. Weinman wanted to hear what we had to say.”
The officers have been placed on administrative duty while Wildwood and county prosecutors investigate the incident, reported The New York Post.
A representative for the Wildwood Police Department did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
An onlooker captured cellphone footage of the arrest and tweeted it on Saturday. It had been viewed more than 6 million times as of Thursday morning.
This story has been updated to include more detail about the actions seen in the video.