An investigation has been launched in a New Orleans suburb after a video captured a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy flinging a 4-foot-8 Black woman just minutes after she had been attacked by a group of boys.
It’s unclear who captured the graphic footage, but in a clip that has since gone viral, the unidentified deputy could be seen grabbing Shantel Arnold by the wrist and dragging her along the pavement.
At times, the deputy could be seen lifting Arnold up and slamming the 100-pound woman to the ground repeatedly. Witnesses say that at one point, the deputy slammed Arnold’s head into the pavement so hard that several of her braids ripped straight from her scalp, the Nola reported.
The incident reportedly took place on Sept. 20.
However, Arnold’s horrific experience that Monday started well before her interaction with the deputy. Bystanders told the outlet that Arnold’s slim frame and a missing eye she suffered from a prior car accident made her an easy target for the three boys that accosted her minutes before the deputy arrived.
The youths beat the woman and slammed her to the ground as bystanders jeered while she tried to defend herself with a stick.
That attack, which also was captured on cellphone video, went on for minutes until 71-year-old Lionel Gray ran the boys off, the New Orleans newspaper reported.
When Jefferson Parish deputies caught up to Arnold — who was walking home covered in dirt and in a general state of disarray — she refused to talk about the incident.
Witnesses said that’s when the deputy stopped his vehicle, grabbed the woman and threw her to the ground as Arnold flailed fruitlessly against the much larger man. The video ultimately ends as the deputy crouches down and puts a knee onto the woman’s back.
Arnold would later describe the encounter to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office internal affairs division: “I’m on my way home. I ain’t make it all the way to the block, the police come out of nowhere, swarming, getting me like, ‘Come here.’ I’m like, ‘What’s going on? I just got beat up by two children, what ya’ll doing?’”
“She didn’t have a chance to pull away because, you know, this guy was strong. He grabbed her arm and some kind of move he made, and she went down to the ground,” Gray, who is like a stepfather to Arnold, told JPSO investigators.
He added, “So I was walking up to him, and he told me, ‘If you come any closer, I’m going to kick everybody’s ass out here.’ So, I said … ‘You don’t have to use that type of force on that little woman right there; she’s a midget.’”
Arnold suffered multiple injuries from the encounter with the deputy, including a busted lip and other bruising and scratches, and she was taken by ambulance to the hospital that day. Arnold is said to be suffering from recurring headaches as well. She was not hit with any charges. Meanwhile, the investigation is ongoing.