"Shocking body camera video shows two Southern California cops slam an eight-months pregnant woman to the ground after a parking lot dispute started as the woman dropped her child off at school.
"The Barstow Police Department continues to be proactive in training its officers to assess and handle interactions with emotionally charged individuals while conducting an investigation, for the protection of everyone involved," the statement, obtained by the Desert Dispatch, reads.
The bizarre confrontation began when Cooks and another woman, a school employee, got into a “road rage” confrontation in the parking lot at Crestline Elementary School, where Cooks was dropping off her second-grade daughter.
The officer, speaking to the other woman, says no crime has been committed and he’ll go speak to Cooks about what happened and “document her name.”
As Cooks explains her side, the officer suddenly cuts her off and asks for identification, something he hadn’t done with the other woman.
"I don't even think that that disagreement in the parking lot was enough to warrant a call to the police," Cooks told the Dispatch.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, which took up Cooks’ case and released the video, says California law does not require someone to identify themselves “for no reason.”Cooks, in the video, tells the officer that she’d like to call her boyfriend and verify the law about identification. But the officer, after first promising to give her “two minutes” to find out whether she must give up her name, walks up to Cooks after 20 seconds and grabs her arm as she wriggles and starts to yell.
“Do not touch me, do not touch me, I’m pregnant!” Cooks begs as she’s pushed against a chain link fence. “What the f--k is going on!”
A second officer comes over and the officer with the camera on asks, “Why are you resisting, ma’am?”
He and the other officer then took her to the ground, stomach down, and handcuffed her behind her back.
“This is ridiculous, what are you doing?” the incredulous Cooks asks. “I didn’t even do anything wrong.”
"I don't think I've ever been that terrified in my life," Cooks recently told the Dispatch. "I never saw that coming. I told him I was pregnant so he could proceed with caution. That didn't happen and the first thing I thought was I didn't want to fall to the ground. I felt the pressure on my stomach from falling and I was calling for help. But those guys are supposed to help me. But who is supposed to help me when they are attacking me?"
Cooks was put in the back of a police cruiser and later booked on a charge of resisting or obstructing a police officer, a charge later tossed by a judge.
The officer involved in the incident is shown on video recounting for another officer what happened.
“I gave her a minute to give up her name and I went to put her under arrest and she resisted arrest,” he said. “That’s all there is to it.”' [See video and story here]
Yep, "That's all there is to it."