KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Raquel Diaz and her sister were all aghast as they watched cell phone video that’s flooding Facebook and leaving lots of folks wondering if a Kansas City police officer crossed the line, or was he just doing his job?
”I don’t think he had to go like karate chop her. I think he should’ve just pulled her away,” Raquel Diaz said.
”He is using excessive force I think because of the way he’s hitting her. The way he’s hurting her,” Andrea Diaz said.
Police say just after midnight Sunday they were called to the popular entertainment district to investigate a disturbance. Officers got there and said they saw at least three women fighting in the street near 39th and Pennsylvania.
Police say cell phone video, which two women shared with FOX4, does not show what led up to the fight. In the video a Kansas City police officer appears to strike a woman with his right hand on her left arm, and immediately after, she she fell face down to the ground.
On Sunday, FOX4 showed the video to people attending the Westport Art Fair.
”I didn’t see her do anything towards the woman. It didn’t look like she was armed with anything. That’s not right. I just think it he used excessive force and should have handled the situation differently,” Diana Shelton said.
”I really do feel for the officers, because every day they’re out their putting their lives on the line. As for the video, you don’t see everything that happened, but that looks a little excessive right off the bat,” Pat Terry said.
In a statement, sent to FOX4, Kansas City Police say “to release her (the woman’s) grip, another officer appears to forcefully slap downward at her arms and hands. This, coupled with her fighting and/or resisting likely caused her to fall in to the direction of the officer and onto the ground.”
Police also say, “regardless of males or females that are resisting, officers train in tactics to safely bring these situations under control. Some of the methods officers train in include strikes to release grasps of objects or other people.”
Fifth District Councilwoman Alissia Canady also saw the video. Canady says she called the police chief and asked him and the Office of Citizens Complaints to investigate the officer's actions. Police say they hope to learn more about the incident on Monday.