Georgia police are investigating an incident caught on video (below) in which an officer repeatedly struck a homeless woman in a convenience store.
The altercation occurred in June, when Katie McCrary was asking customers for money inside a Chevron store in Decatur, Georgia, when a police officer showed up, according to WGCL. At that point, police say that McCrary "attempted to push the officer out of the way," so he "asked her to step back."
"Words were exchanged between the officer and McCrary with McCrary subsequently assaulting the officer," the department said in a summary of the incident, according to WCGL. "She continued to aggressively resist the officer’s commands, resulting in the deployment of the officer's baton."
But the viral phone video, which had more than 50,000 views in four weeks, shows something that many people have found upsetting.
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The clip, which only shows the end of the incident, shows the officer hits the 38-year-old woman at least 10 times with his metal baton, as she writhes on the ground.
"Katie, stop resisting, stop resisting," a witness says repeatedly to her as she keeps sustaining blows to her lower body.
The officer pins her face-down to the floor and presses his knee into her back, saying several times to the woman, "Let it go, or I'm going to shoot you."
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Toward the end of the video, he pulls her hands behind her back, and she asks, "What did I do?"
"From the beginning of the video she looks like she was under terror," customer Craig Nelson told WCGL, adding that he knows McCrary and that she is "not mentally there" but did not deserve the treatment she received.
One customer who watched the video said that it made her "heart hurt," while another called it "excessive."
DeKalb police spokeswoman Officer Shiera Campbell said in a statement that the department only just learned about the video but that it "appears to be consistent" with the officer's report, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Now that the Department has this new evidence, we are looking to determine whether the incident is consistent with policy and the law."
The police report states that McCrary told the officer she was a federal agent and then tried to grab his badge, when he struck her with his baton. It also states that McCrary then dropped to the floor and started kicking the officer.
"I continued my baton strikes to her legs and forearms instructing her to stop resisting and to lay down with her hands behind her back," the officer wrote in the report. "One strike inadvertently struck the side of her head as she was moving around."
McCrary was handcuffed and arrested as EMS arrived and checked on her. She was eventually transported to the hospital and charged with obstructing or hindering law enforcement officers.