** (Disclaimer: This video content is intended for educational and informational purposes only) **
Footage of a California family’s argument with the local sheriff’s department has now been made public as part of an excessive lawsuit, after one of the cops body slammed one of the teenage girls to the ground. The incident occurred on June 14, 2015, on a rural property in Sonoma County, however the footage only surfaced this week as the case was presented in court.
According to the sheriff’s office, Deputy Marcus Holton stopped at the house in Petaluma after he saw a truck stopped in the middle of the street and heard people fighting. Footage taken from a body cam Holton was wearing – posted to YouTube on Thursday – shows four women arguing with Holton for several minutes, assuring him there was no issue. The verbal confrontation continues for several more minutes with the family demanding a female officer.
The argument is lead by the mother of three women, two of which are adults and one, Gabrielle Lemos, 18, appears to be a teenager. At one point in the video she is referred to as being 16 years old. The mother accuses Holton of grabbing the women and breaking the law with his ‘investigation’. The argument continues, and Gabrielle starts to walk away from the group.
Holton then takes down Gabrielle as she is walking away, after she ignored his orders to stop. During the body slam, the mother and Gabrielle’s sisters can be heard screaming in the background for Holton to stop. Holton’s body camera fell off during the confrontation, and his face was captured in the footage as he readjusted it to his uniform. He then leads Gabrielle to a patrol car and places her under arrest. Blood and cuts can clearly be seen on her face.
Gabrielle has since filed a civil rights case against the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. The lawsuit claims the officer used excessive force and is seeking unspecified damages. However, after the lawsuit was filed, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office filed charges against Gabrielle for misdemeanor resisting arrest.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office have stood by Houlton and said he behaved appropriately. “Deputy Holton was well within his authority and Sheriff’s Office policy to investigate this matter for a possible criminal violation,’ the office said in a statement. ‘His conduct and that of the other Deputies involved has been reviewed by Sheriff’s Office Administrators and we are confident they acted honorably and appropriately during this tense rapidly evolving situation.’
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