Cops Facing Excessive Force Allegations After Female College Student Is Body-Slammed at Bar
The police department says the actions were justified since she "obstructed and struck" an officer.
Police in Colorado are under fire after an officer was caught on tape body-slamming a Colorado State University student face-first into the ground.
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Authorities denied it was excessive force, saying that 22-year-old Michaella Surat "physically obstructed and struck" an officer.
The cop, from the Fort Collins Police Department, was responding to a bar fight Thursday allegedly involving the young woman's boyfriend.
In the video, which was released over the weekend, Surat appears to be pushing away from the officer, who then took her to the ground.
The department called the move "standard arrest control."
"This event will be thoroughly investigated," Fort Collins Police Services Chief John Hutto posted in a lengthy statement on Facebook. "The court process will take place and there will be an internal review of the officer's actions from the perspective of policy and procedure. At the conclusion of these investigative processes, the body worn camera video will be made available to the public.”
Security expert Steve Kardian told Inside Edition that the "bar hammer" or "hammer lock takedown" is a legitimate move used by law enforcement, but it doesn't mean he was in the right to use it.
"What may not have been taken into account is she is wearing six, seven, or eight-inch heels and her center of gravity if completely off," Kardian said. "It is like someone standing on their tiptoes. They have no balance."
The student's family has pointed out that she weighs just 115 pounds and has released photos of bruises on her chin and legs.
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Surat was taken to the Larimer County Jail where she was charged with third-degree assault and obstructing a peace officer. She is currently out on bond and will appear in court Wednesday.
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