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‘Get Off of Her!’: Bystanders Furious Over Officer’s Treatment of Black Woman vs White Woman During a Fight

Video of a street fight between two women showed an Iowa conservation officer elbowing a Black woman in the face but letting the white woman she fought with walk away in downtown Des Moines Friday.

“Get off of her,” one of the officers can be heard screaming in video of the incident.

The Des Moines Register identified one of the officers allegedly involved as Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Travis Graves and the Black woman allegedly involved as 27-year-old Latisha Johnson.

The white woman and another officer at the scene have not been identified.

Video of the incident showed one officer struggling to separate the women when another ran onto the scene and started pulling the white woman by the arms.

The Black woman was using one hand to pull the other woman’s hair, and one of the officers can be seen elbowing her in the face and yelling, “let go.”

“I got real ass hair b—-. You can’t pull that shit out,” the white woman yelled.

Seconds later, she and the officer holding her were able to stand up. The Black woman remained on the ground with a white officer straddled on top of her, the video showed.

Someone on the scene shouted that the Black woman was sprayed with pepper spray.

“You should’ve sprayed the white b—- too,” she could be heard saying in the video.

Graves allegedly sprayed the pepper spray, the Des Moines Register reported. 

Seconds later, the white woman was seen walking off.

“You just literally let the white girl go,” someone could be heard yelling in the video. “The white girl caused the fight though.”

At that point, a responding officer was seen walking off in the same direction as the woman.

“Hey,” he yelled.

“F— that s—,” the person screaming added. “That’s racist s—.”

A post-arrest test showed Johnson had a blood alcohol of 0.129, over 1.5 times Iowa’s legal limit for drivers, the Des Moines Register reported. 

She was charged with disorderly conduct, consumption and intoxication and interference with official acts, the Register reported.

Although a woman who resembles the white woman in the video was booked at the Polk County Jail on disorderly conduct and intoxication charges around the same time as Johnson Friday, details of criminal charges were not immediately available online, the Register reported.

A criminal complaint the newspaper obtained doesn’t mention an officer elbowing Johnson.

“There are many questions left to be answered and we are working with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation to conduct a full, fair and thorough investigation,” DNR spokesman Alex Murphy said in a written statement to the Register.

Video of the incident attracted more than 300 comments and 2,200 retweets by Monday.

A Twitter user who goes by Bob Band defended the white woman involved in the fight.

“The black woman continued to attack even after the police intervened. That’s the difference,” he said Saturday on Twitter. “And, she was shouting aggressively at the white woman when the police stepped in. That gets perceived as a threat. Once again, blacks behave threateningly around cops, and it goes bad.”

Another Twitter user, Kelly Cramer said Sunday:

“They go after the aggressor. She was on top of the other gal and wouldn’t let go. I don’t know when we’ll learn when the cops say something, do it. Let go means let go.”

Still, several people who commented about the incident on Twitter defended the Black woman.

“They did not see a human being they see a black woman that deserve to be brutalize. And the white woman is the victim. Where is the white feminist about equality and justice,” a Twitter user who goes by Don Salmon said Sunday.

LaTasha Warren said Saturday:

“White women are the most protected group of ppl in the USA! Black women are normally viewed as angry & tough, but until black men & women stick together like whites and other races, nothing will change.”

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