Louisiana deputy shown slamming Black woman to ground by her braids in viral video
The incident happened late last month after 34-year-old Shantel Arnold was accosted by a group of boys.
Video capturing a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy slamming a Black woman to the ground by her hair has gone viral.
In the video, an unidentified JPSO deputy is seen holding Shantel Arnold’s wrist as she is lying on her back on the sidewalk. In the graphic and disturbing video, the deputy is seen dragging Arnold along the pavement. He then lifts her up and slams her to the ground several times.
The two briefly disappear from view, and when they reemerge, the deputy is holding Arnold by her hair and slamming her body to the ground so violently that he rips out some of her braids.
Arnold, who is only 4 feet, 8 inches tall, and weighs a mere 100 pounds, previously lost her left eye in a car accident. Her small stature and disability frequently make her a target for neighborhood bullies.
News reports indicate that the boys slammed Arnold to the ground and struck her while a crowd watched and laughed. That attack was captured on cellphone video, and it only ended when Arnold’s 71-year-old stepfather chased the youngsters away.
Arnold was walking home, disheveled and covered in dirt, when a JPSO deputy pulled up alongside her and asked her what happened. News reports note that the unidentified officer demanded that she stop and talk to him.
Still upset by the assault, Arnold told the deputy he had been attacked and wanted to go home, and she continued walking.
According to witnesses, the officer then stopped the police car, grabbed the already-victimized woman, and threw her to the ground.
“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,” Arnold’s stepfather, Lionel Gray, who witnessed the attack, told investigators. “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.’ ”
Gray and Arnold’s uncle both witnessed the incident from the family’s driveway, which was only 20 feet away. The incident was captured on cellphone video; Jefferson Parish deputies do not wear body cameras, but officials plan to add them to their force by December.
After Arnold was attacked by the officer, other responding deputies called an ambulance, and the vehicle took her to the hospital, where she was treated for bruises, scratches and a busted lip. She reportedly now suffers recurring headaches. Arnold was not charged with any crime.
According to the NOLA.com report, Arnold’s younger sister, Mercedes, claims that in the days and weeks following the attack, the same sheriff’s deputy has been driving past the family’s home in what she believes is an attempt to intimidate them.
The incident is being investigated by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Department of Internal Affairs.
The ACLU of Louisiana is calling on the federal government to launch an investigation into the JPSO after a WWNO/WRKF and ProPublica report found that more than 70% of people who were shot at by its deputies were Black, despite Blacks being only 27% of the population.
“It is no secret that the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office has a deep-rooted history of racial discrimination and cruelty toward residents of color,” said ACLU of Louisiana’s executive director, Alanah Odoms. “The harsh political reality is the sheriff of Jefferson Parish is wholly unaccountable to the people.”