UPDATED: 11 a.m. ET, Feb. 8
Kansas City activists are demanding justice after a video of a Black woman being brutally arrested by KCPD officers went viral online.
On Jan. 28, Daysheion Renee Ponds was violently arrested by KCPD officers in the Power & Light District after the Chiefs’ AFC championship game. The arrest, which was caught on tape, is under review and investigation, according to authorities.
The video of the incident was reposted by the community activist group the Urban League of Greater Kansas City with the caption, “This was not officers just doing their job. “This was excessive force, pure and simple.”
Gwen Grant, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, called the video, “disturbing, to say the least.”
“On its face, this incident appears to be yet another failure of KCPD officers to respect the humanity of Black people,” Grant told KCUR. “I hope Chief (Stacey) Graves will put her money where her mouth is and get to work holding bad cops to account and changing the culture in the KCPD.”
The young Black woman from Kansas City claims she was “beaten” and called an “animal” by several off-duty police officers during the arrest at the Power and Light District last week.
According to the Kansas City Star, Daysheion Renee Ponds, says she suffered a concussion, memory loss, a swollen eye and a bruised face after she was tackled to the ground by KCPD officers.
“I’m 5’2” and I’m under 150 pounds,” Ponds told the Star. “I was no threat, I couldn’t have hurt them in any way and the whole time that they were hitting on me and beating me. I was in handcuffs, so I couldn’t have done anything extreme to them.”
Cellphone video of the incident, which was obtained by the Star, also reveals officers yelling at Ponds, “If you act like an animal, we’re going to treat you like an animal.”
On Jan. 28, Daysheion Ponds was arrested after she argued with a bartender who said she did not pay for a drink. Ponds said she was charged for a drink she says she never received. She also says she gave the bartender her card, but it declined when he tried to charge her. The bartender then called the security guards and off-duty officers to confront Pond.
In the video of the arrest, officers can be seen pinning Ponds to the ground and handcuffing her. Ponds can be heard in the video screaming “help” as multiple officers continue to wrestle with her on the ground.
The bystander filming then gets scolded by the police.
“Get back or you’re going to jail. F—–g record all you want, I’m not playing this game,” says the officer.
Daysheion Ponds told the Star that she was never a threat and was traumatized by the incident.
“They did things to me that they didn’t have to and it definitely traumatized me. It’s something that I’ll never forget. It’s stuff that I stay up all night thinking about, said Ponds.
Capt. Jacob Becchina, a Police Department spokesman, has said that the arrest of Daysheion Ponds was “usual protocol” and pointed some blame at the bystander who was filming.
“The officer advises the person they are free to film but that they need to back up,” Becchina said. “Officers are well within their right to advise a citizen to cease their actions if they are creating an interference.”
Becchina told the publication that details of the arrest are, “not a public record at this time due to the ongoing investigation.”
KCPD has a concerning record when dealing with Black people in Kansas City.
In September 2022, the Kansas City Defender published a video of Bishop Tony Caldwell, a local community leader in Kansas City, Missouri, discussing numerous murdered and missing Black women, including one woman he said was missing after reportedly being abducted from an area on Prospect Avenue.
The Kansas City Police Department, at the time, called the testimony of Caldwell and other concerned Black citizens “completely unfounded rumors,” until a 22-year-old Black woman escaped bondage after being kidnapped, sexually assaulted and held captive in the basement of an Excelsior Springs, Missouri, man’s home. The man is identified as Timothy Haslett Jr., a white 39-year-old male.
In May 2019, two KCPD officers were also convicted of assaulting a transgender woman during an arrest, which was also captured on video.
The two former officers were sentenced to three years on probation.
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