In a disturbing video that has received thousands of views, Atlanta police beat and used a Taser on a Black woman in front of her young child. The reported offense? A speeding ticket.
The woman, identified as Maggie Thomas, was sitting in her car in the back parking lot of her apartment complex with her four-year-old daughter when an officer, who is white, approached her on May 1. The officer had reportedly been advised to keep an eye out for the make and model of the car that Thomas happened to be sitting in. Thomas allegedly became irritated after the officer asked her if the car was hers and told her not to drive it because it was not insured.
According to 11 Alive, the officer then left and came back after he found out that Thomas had a warrant for her arrest for failing to appear at a hearing regarding a speeding ticket. He proceeded to put handcuffs on Thomas’ hand while she held her daughter and her cellphone in the other. Thomas then called 911 while the officer waited for back up. She then began to honk her horn and scream to get the attention of neighbors.
The video begins a short time later and shows Thomas’ crying daughter running toward a camera filming the ordeal while her mother can be seen in the background in a struggle with the officer.
“Are you trying to kill me?” Thomas can be heard saying in the video as the officer tried to restrain her.
The officer alleged that Thomas bit him, which was when he reportedly punched her in the face, causing her to fall to the ground. He also used his Taser on her several times as she cried in pain, all while her daughter was yelling for her in the background.
“You’re a guy,” a man can be heard telling the cop officer, who continued to strong-arm Thomas.
Other officers would eventually arrive on the scene and Thomas was taken into custody. In an incident report, the Atlanta police officer described Thomas as the aggressor. But Thomas’ attorney, Gerald Griggs, said otherwise, insisting that a medical examination did not present any visible bite marks on the officer.
“At no point did she bite the police officer. We have all the video image. If someone bites you, you’re going to see it. It’s going to break the skin,” Griggs told 11 Alive on Saturday. “The video shows that he punched her in the face while she was handcuffed. There is no need to use that kind of force on someone who is handcuffed.”
Griggs also denied the claim that Thomas even had a warrant.
“It’s just ludicrous, you could easily suspend a person’s license and give them a copy of charges and let them come to appear in court,” Griggs said. “But it turns out, there was no active warrant. You have the right to resist unlawful arrest and [this officer] escalated it further.”
Griggs is calling for the officer’s removal pending the investigation.
Thomas was charged with disorderly conduct and physical obstruction and was treated for a swollen left eye. The officer has yet to be identified but was placed on administrative leave as the arrest went under review by the Office of Professional Standards.