A Baltimore woman says she was tasered after stopping to film police officers kicking a handcuffed man.
Kianga Mwamba, 36, claims she was tasered and arrested by Baltimore Police Department officers in March in retaliation for filming the arrest of a man on her cell phone. After she was released, she noticed the arrest video had been erased before the phone was returned to her. Charges against her were eventually dropped, but Mwamba — the daughter of a veteran Maryland Capitol Police officer — is now suing the police department in the amount of $7 million.
The lawsuit filed with the Circuit Court for Baltimore City last Thursday said the police “attacked” her, “dragged” her from her vehicle, and “threw her onto the street, handcuffed her, tasered her, called her a ‘dumb b**ch,’ and kept her restrained.”
“I’m in shock for real, like are they really doing this to me,” Mwamba said as she recalled the encounter to the Baltimore Sun. Luckily for her, even though police erased the 135-second recording from her phone, it was recovered from her cloud account, corroborating her version of events.
This week, footage of the March 30th scuffle surfaced online. In the clip, you can hear a woman saying, “You telling me I can’t record? My father’s in the police; I know I can record,” as the police tell her to move on. When she doesn’t leave the scene, you can then hear the police attacking her car as she screams, “He burning me. He burning me!”
Mwamba was arrested on charges of assault for allegedly trying to run over two officers. The Baltimore police department said in a statement that the language the officer used was “both offensive and unacceptable.”
“The video does not capture enough information to draw definitive conclusions about what transpired before, during, and after the arrest,” the department said. “What is clear is that the language used is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.” Meanwhile, the handcuffed man was Cordell Bruce, who faces assault charges on allegations of striking an officer outside a nightclub – charges Bruce denies. The video does not capture him being beaten by police.
The Baltimore Police Department is currently undergoing extensive reform due to a pattern of complaints and excessive force lawsuits like the one filed by Mwamba.