Two separate women, who appeared to be celebrating spring break in Miami, were roughly handled by officers from the city’s police department. In a video that has been circulating social media, one woman accidentally collided with an officer who was chasing after someone, then pushed her to the ground. The other woman was exiting the beach, then surrounded by numerous officers, slammed to the ground and a knee was placed on her back before being arrested after allegedly being involved in a “physical altercation” with two security guards, the Miami Herald reported.
In the first video, the woman whose name has not yet been confirmed, but is said to be identified as Jaises Elam via a police report from social justice activist and journalist Shaun King, was running into the street in Miami’s South Beach area and collided into Miami Police Department officer, whose name has not been confirmed either, but was also identified in the alleged police report was Officer M. Eaton. Shortly after the collision took place, while many people stood in the street, the officer roughly pushed the woman back to the ground. The woman kicked the officer after being pushed. He then came back to the woman, choking her with one hand while she was on the ground before other officers came to the scene. Moments later, officers swarmed the streets with pepper ball guns in hand, according to the Daily Mail, causing other tourists and beachgoers to scurry.
As for the other woman, who is named Alexis Galmon, according to the Miami Herald, she reportedly got into an altercation with security guards at the entrance of a spring break event in the city’s South Beach area near 10th street and Ocean Drive. Galmon, who is from North Carolina, was exiting the event which was fenced off when she was approached by five police officers.
The 25-year-old woman, who appeared to slip in the sand while surrounded by the officers, was later slammed to the ground by one of the officers, who then placed a knee in her back while arresting her.
Another responding officer is seen in the video footage carrying a long gun.
“The female subject was subsequently detained and arrested,” Miami police spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez said in a statement. “The subject is tentatively facing a felony charge of battery on a person over the age of 65 as well as simple battery for the second victim.”
In an incident report obtained by the Miami Herald, an officer claimed that Galmon ignored police commands to place her hands behind her back, and also pulled her arms away when officers tried to arrest her. The report additionally said that Galmon displayed “aggressive behavior,” and that an officer kicked her leg to “safely take Galmon to the ground.”
Galmon’s friends, however, say otherwise. One friend told the Herald that the “only crime she may have committed was becoming frustrated when officers placed hands on her.” The friend also said that security at the event misplaced Galmon’s purple backpack, which contained her personal items, that she was asked to leave at the entrance of the event before being allowed into the party.
“They used their violence on a woman. It took five of them, and there’s one of her. That’s messed up,” the friend said.
A security guard told police that they did have Galmon’s bag but refused to give it to her.
The friend said the officers should have deescalated the situation, instead of turning to violence. “If we get rowdy, it’s OK to calm us down. We know how to calm down,” she said. “But then y’all turn around and slam her? Five, six against one? No, that’s messed up.”