A Michigan sheriff’s deputy is on administrative leave after he was filmed punching a Black woman in the face during her arrest.
Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office deputies were responding to the scene of a female gunshot victim in Ypsilanti Township on early Tuesday morning when they encountered Sha’Teina and Dan Grady El, according to Mlive.com. According to officials, the cops were forming a perimeter to keep people away from someone thought to be the shooter and ordered to remain outside of it, but the Grady Els did not comply. A neighbor told Mlive the couple was trying to ask the cops why they were in the neighborhood.
Officials claim deputies told the couple to comply with their orders, and, after they refused, the deputies decided to physically remove them. A cellphone video taken by a witness shows one deputy trying to grab Dan Grady El as another officer approached his wife. The officer began to grapple with Sha’Teina Grady El and punched her in the head three times.
Moments later, another officer used a stun gun on Dan Grady El. Bystanders vocalize their outrage as the couple struggled with the officers. One witness claimed the deputies attacked the couple because they were trying to film the scene.
The Grady Els were arrested and charged with obstruction of justice. As of Thursday, the couple remains in jail.
“He punched my mother three times like she was a whole guy,” Jaquisy Diggins, their daughter, told Fox 2 Detroit. “The officer who hit my mother should be fired completely, not on the force none of that.”
Diggins argued the video showed Sha’Teina Grady El was trying to comply when the deputy grabbed her.
“They asked her to back up and she did back up as you can see in the video she backed up with her hands like this and the officer still rushed my mom,” Diggins said.
She believes her dad was merely defusing the situation.
“He was doing what any man, husband would do, and he was defending his wife when the [sheriff deputy] punched her,” Diggins continued. “And then after the fact he did calm down and tried to talk with the police officers and another officer came up and tased him, when he was being calm.”
The footage was posted on social media and went viral. It also led to a protest in front of the sheriff’s office.
Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton said several deputies were placed on administrative leave, including the one who punched Sha’Teina Grady El. The incident will be subject to an internal investigation.
“There is absolutely no doubt, and no argument from me, that the images in the video are disturbing,” he said. “It warrants a complete investigation.”
Clayton said he would not reveal the deputy’s name in order to maintain the integrity of the probe.
“We are finders of facts,” Clayton continued. “We want to seek the truth, find the facts and provide all the context. What was going on, what was the specific resistant behavior, what was the officers attempts at use of force. We’re going to respond to that.”
Sha’Teina Grady El has had issues with law enforcement before that led to her to sue the Taylor Police Department twice. Both cases were dismissed.