Philadelphia police are investigating after an officer was captured on video pulling a handcuffed woman by the hair and taking her down to the ground in North Philadelphia.
In the video, the officer stands behind 18-year-old Na-sha Lockett and presses her against a police cruiser as she repeatedly shouts at him to “Get the f—k off me.” At one point, the officer says, “No” before Lockett shouts, “I’m about to spit on you.”
That’s when the officer grabs her hair, pulls her head down and sweeps her leg to take her to the ground. As the officer tries to subdue her, she yells, “Get off me!”
Both the Philadelphia Police Department and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, which represents Philadelphia law enforcement officers, said the incident was under investigation by the department’s Internal Affairs Division.
“We won’t second-guess officers out in the street doing a difficult job. We’ll have more to say when the investigation is complete,” John McNesby, the union’s president, said.
Lockett described the arrest in an interview with NBC10.
“I was trying to get up, I was trying to use my knees to get up. Then he got on top of me and I started saying I have asthma and started crying,” Lockett said.
In the video, another officer looks on and stands between the pair as another woman gets close and shouts, “Why are you on her like that?”
Lockett said the incident began early Wednesday afternoon, when the officers came up and began banging on the windows of the van she was sitting in with her friend Khalil Harvin.
According to Harvin, the van had previously been reported stolen, which may explain the police response. Harvin showed NBC10 paperwork showing that he owns the vehicle.
The Philadelphia Police Department would not release the reason for the original stop, saying it is part of their Internal Affairs investigation.
“[The officers] were being disrespectful the whole time,” Lockett said. “They could have done a little more. They could have asked questions.”
Lockett acknowledged she was wrong to threaten to spit on the officer, but argued that his response was still unwarranted.
“You dragged me to the ground. You slammed me, pulled my hair. You did too much,” she said.
Lockett said she spent the night in jail before disorderly conduct charges were dropped the next morning. The PPD, however, did not say whether or not charges may be pending.
“We take all matters involving the application of force seriously. Accordingly, the incident is being investigated by the Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility / Internal Affairs Division,” the department said.