Georgia police are being criticized for video that shows an officer arresting a mother holding a 7-month-old baby, who she drops to the ground in a struggle with the cop.
Breonna Bell had called Covington police saying she was locked out of her car, authorities said. Responding officers tell the woman she has outstanding probation violations and will be arrested, body cam footage released Tuesday by the department shows.
But a bystander's video posted to Facebook ignited criticism.
"I see the police just manhandling this lady and her pants down," Alfonso Dennis, who was driving by when the incident occurred and filmed it, told CBS46. "The police just grabbed her, and just slammed, like a wrestling match or something," he said.
In the police body cam footage, the baby falls to the ground and as the mother struggles with one officer. Later, her pants fall to her feet as she is wrestled to the ground.
Covington Police Capt. Ken Malcolm said his officers acted appropriately and continuously asked Bell to hand the baby to a friend as she resisted arrest.
Her child fell on his bottom, but was not hurt, police said. The mother's friend then took the baby as the woman and officers continued to struggle. The body cam footage showing the woman on the ground with her pants down was blurred by the department before it was publicly released.
Her pants fell to her feet in a "wardrobe malfunction" as she pushed an officer, the department said in a Facebook post. The woman failed to cooperate and continued fighting while on the ground, the statement said.
In the blurred video, Bell can be heard screaming. "It sounded like a horror movie," Dennis told the station.
Bell is being held in the Newton County Jail without bond, according to online records. She is charged with violating probation, willful obstruction of law enforcement officers and cruelty to children, according to records.