Video of white Washtenaw cop punching Black woman incites public outrage and an internal investigation


  • Screen grab/Facebook

As racial tensions rise throughout the country following the recent video-recorded deaths of Black men like Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia — and George Floyd in Minneapolis, whose death at the hands of police has incited community outrage and protests — yet another violent video has gone viral, this time in Washtenaw County.

An internal investigation has been launched following an incident that took place in Ypsilanti Township on Tuesday, May 26 when Washtenaw County police arrived at a shooting scene, in which a 34-year-old woman suffered gunshot wounds after a large group erupted into an argument, The Detroit Free Press reports.

Several bystander videos reveal that a dozen or more Apple Ridge neighborhood residents appeared to emerge from their homes to observe the crime scene and inquire as to why the cops had arrived. That included married couple Sha'Teina Grady El and her husband, Dan Grady El, MLive reports, who did not immediately comply when asked by police to leave the scene. The couple, who appear to be unarmed, filmed the police and, according to reports, were inquiring as to why police were in the area.

The video shows Sha'Teina backing away with her hands in the air. Dan, too, begins to back up before being grabbed by the wrist by an officer. Another police officer continues to follow Sha'Teina and, after disappearing from the camera's view, returns aggressively carrying Sha'Teina and then proceeds to punch her in the head several times while bent over a chainlink fence, at which point she begins to flail. Her husband, who escapes the grip of his arresting officer to create a barrier between the police and his wife, was tased. Both were taken into custody.

The disturbing video, which has been shared widely across social media, has resulted in an internal investigation of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department to determine if the use of force was necessary. The department has committed to having an external agency review officers' body-cam and dash-cam footage and will continue to conduct interviews on the shooting and the arrest of the Grady Els.

Those deputies involved have been placed on administrative leave.

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