A policeman put his knee on a black pregnant woman in Kansas City, Missouri, during a videotaped arrest that led to daily protests outside City Hall.
The September 30 arrest came during a confrontation between police and people who had gathered outside a gas station to release a balloon commemorating a recent murder victim, said Stacy Shaw, lawyer for Deja Stallings 25.
Officials attempted to break up the crowd and make an arrest when a woman who Shaw identified as Stallings began “obstructing and disrupting” law enforcement, according to a testimony from Kansas City police.
“Then she was handcuffed, turned on her side, and immediately placed in a sitting position,”
The video posted by Shaw showed a police officer placing his right knee on the undercover woman’s back for at least 16 seconds while being arrested.
“Common sense and basic humanity” should have prevented Stallings from being attacked and arrested, Shaw told NBC News on Friday.
“I could never treat a pregnant person like this. Even if she obstructed the arrest, there was no justification for her body being hit on the floor and the officer’s knee being forced into her back.”
Stallings “was taken to an area hospital, where she was examined and released,” according to police.
Local prosecutors confirmed on Friday that they were dealing with the matter.
“The allegation is that there has been excessive use of force,” said Michael Mansur, Jackson County Attorney General’s spokesman. “We’re looking into that. That means we’ve asked KCPD to investigate and we’re asking for more information.”
The Kansas City Police Department declined to identify the officer on the video as he was not charged with any crime.
“We worked with the Jackson County Attorney General and handed over all of the video footage,” Kansas City Police Captain David Jackson said in a statement. “We continued to investigate the incident for policy or procedural violations.”
Friday was the eighth day in a row with protests in front of the town hall.
Protesters are calling for action against the officer who arrested Stallings and the fall of Chief Richard Smith, Shaw said. Smith’s department has been under fire for more than a year after police fatally shot Terrance Bridges, 30.
“There are no immediate plans to evict anyone outside of City Hall,” said Morgan Said, a spokesman for Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
Stallings is scheduled to give Brith to a little girl on October 19th
“She’s still very traumatized mentally,” Shaw said. “Apart from the high blood pressure, we currently do not know of any permanent damage.”