KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City police are sharing new surveillance video from the area where they took a pregnant woman into custody earlier this week.
Social media video of the arrest, which many argue shows an officer putting his knee into the woman’s back as he takes her into custody on the ground, has prompted calls for justice in the community.
Police said they released the 30-minute video to show why they were called to the gas station where the arrest occurred. But the woman’s arrest isn’t actually captured in the new footage. It happens outside the camera’s view.
See the footage in the video player above.
Police said the incident began just before 11 p.m. Sept. 30 outside the business near 35th Street and Prospect Avenue.
KCPD Capt. Dave Jackson said officers were dispatched to the area after a security officer at the gas station called 911 for help. There were 10-20 people fighting on the property, and the owner wanted everyone to leave, Jackson said.
The video police released doesn’t show people brawling, but they are getting in each other’s faces, arguing and, at times, shoving. At one point, you can see a man in a blue shirt lift the pregnant woman off her feet and hold her onto the hood of a car. There is no audio in the video.
After about 15 minutes, Kansas City police show up. Police try to get everyone to leave, but one man, identified as Troy Robertson, keeps coming back to the property.
Then as police move to arrest Robertson, for trespassing, police said the pregnant woman tried to block officers. They labeled the action in the video as “hindering arrest.”
The actual moment where the woman was taken to the ground and arrested are not shown in the video as they were out of the camera’s frame.
But video of the woman’s arrest was briefly captured in a video that’s been shared widely on social media.
Jackson said the officer tried to take the woman into custody while standing, but she resisted, according to police, so the officer moved her to the ground.
In the video, you can see the pregnant woman lying on her stomach briefly before being turned to her side. Jackson said after that, the officer moved the woman to a seated position.
But what many are outraged over is the officer’s knee.
Some who have viewed the video believe the officer’s knee was pressed against the woman’s back while she laid face-down on the ground. Jackson, however, said the officer said and the video shows his weight was on his foot.
“The officer who arrested the woman said he took care not to apply pressure with his legs,” Jackson said Thursday.
Medics took the woman to the hospital where she was evaluated and released. Jackson could not say if she was injured.
Attorney Stacy Shaw, who said she is representing the woman, said the woman was nine months pregnant.
“Why was it necessary to handcuff and to put a knee on a pregnant woman’s back when she is nine months pregnant?” Shaw said. “What sort of monster would do that?”
Jackson said it’s too early to tell if any of the officers involved did anything wrong, but KCPD will continue to investigate, looking at more video potentially available. If someone makes an official complaint, that will bring on another level of investigation.