Kansas City, Missouri, police said there is an ongoing investigation and review after video appeared to show an officer refer to a Black woman as an “animal” during an arrest.
Cellphone video showed a woman being arrested outside the Pizza Bar Restaurant after Kansas City police said “she was involved in a disturbance with staff.” In one video, one of the officers appears to say “f—— animal” as the woman is screaming and on the ground in handcuffs.
The Kansas City Police Department said in a statement that the incident between the woman and staff at the business, which is in the Power and Light District, resulted in security officers placing the woman into custody. Police officers then responded to help staff escort the woman to the business’ security office, which is when bystanders “became involved” and walked alongside officers, the department said.
Video of the interaction appears to show security officers holding the woman, who falls to the ground before police officers step in.
The Kansas City Star, which first reported the incident that occurred last week, reported that a video showed an officer say, “If you act like an animal, we’re going to treat you like an animal.”
During the incident, someone off camera tells the person recording they can record but had to step back, and then an officer appears to move back the person recording the video, threatening that person with jail and saying, “You can f—— record all you want, but we’re not playing this game.”
“In any case where an officer is assaulted, injured, or responds to resistance, the entirety of the events get reviewed by supervisors and command staff,” the police department said. “The review of this incident is currently underway.”
A spokesperson for the police department did not comment when asked specifically about the use of the term “animal” depicted in the video Wednesday night, but referred to the statement that a review was underway.
Additional details would not be immediately released due to the ongoing investigation, the police department said in a statement.
The department also did not immediately make the incident report available. It said the report will be available “upon completion and approval,” which usually takes 10 to 20 days.
The woman detained and ultimately arrested was identified by the newspaper as Daysheion Renee Ponds, 25, and the incident happened as she and friends were watching the AFC championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens on Jan. 28.
A phone number for Ponds could not immediately be found Wednesday night.
Police said the woman was given a summons for assault on a law enforcement officer, disorderly conduct and theft. Online court records show the three cases were still pending Wednesday. They did not list an attorney for her.
Ponds told the Kansas City Star she was traumatized by the encounter, pointing out that she is 5 feet, 2 inches tall and under 150 pounds.
“They did things to me that they didn’t have to and it definitely traumatized me,” Ponds told the newspaper. “It’s something that I’ll never forget. It’s stuff that I stay up all night thinking about.”