Wednesday, Feb 4th, 2009
A video released as part of a lawsuit against police in Millville, Philadelphia, shows an officer forcefully punching a woman in the face four times after he bungled an attempt to arrest her for riding a bike on the sidewalk.
As reported by NBC news, Sheila Stevenson, 42, has filed a civil suit (PDF), alleging police used excessive force, after then-Millville Police Officer Carlo Drogo stopped her one year ago on February 3 2008.
The newly released video shows Drogo attempting to use pepper spray on Stevenson while she is still on the bike, but instead spraying himself in the face.
As Stevenson struggles, a reeling Drogo knocks her off the bike and onto the ground.
Two more cops then arrive and haul Stevenson to the curb, one of them seemingly applying the full force of his upper arm onto her neck and head.
The same cop then thrusts his knee into her back twice, with full force, whilst attempting to handcuff her.
"I am not doing nothing," Stevenson screams.
"Put your hands behind your back," one of the other officers orders.
"Can you not do this? I'm not doing nothing! I'm not doing nothing," she wails.
Drogo, clearly in great discomfort from using his own pepper spray on himself, then approaches Stevenson after the other officers have restrained her and aggressively punches her in the face and head four times.
"Why are you hitting me? You're hitting me! Why are you hitting me?" Stevenson cries out. "Why did you hit me and I'm handcuffed?"
Stevenson was later convicted of resisting arrest. As noted by NBC10, Drogo resigned from the police department in October for undisclosed reasons. He has previously issued a statement defending his actions and maintaining that Stevenson's allegations represent a distortion of the facts.