I had already pulled the pass out of my pocket and said, "here you go" and showed him my pass as I walked past. He said, "Ma'am, you have to show me your pass. I asked to see your pass." I had already walked past him at this point and was outside in the parking lot, and I turned around, pass in hand, showing it to him, and said, "here's my pass." At this point he ran in front of me, blocked my path and closed in on me and said, "I told you you have to stop. You have to do what I say." At this point I literally had the RTA pass two inches away from his face, and I was saying, "It's right here! I've showed it to you! Here is my pass, it's valid, it's an all day pass, I bought it here this morning." He was very much closed in on me, throwing his chest into my face and telling me that I had to do whatever he said, to which I replied that he was exceeding his authority and that he needed to let me go, that I'd already showed him my pass and at this point he was violating my rights by detaining me. I tried to walk past him towards my car. He started ordering me to turn around and telling me that he was going to taze me, and that I should turn around and give him my hands.
I looked to the phone in my hand, meaning to turn on the video app to record this instance of me very much being assaulted by this police officer, and he knocked it onto the ground. It was still connected to the charger in my other hand, and as I started to pull it up by the cord, he knocked me to the ground, shoved my face in the dirt, and told me that he was going to pepper spray me. At this point his voice was very high-pitched, and he called for backup as he continued to push my face into the dirt from on top of me.
He struggled to pull my arms behind my back as I struggled to gather and hold onto my possessions, some of which had scattered - my phone, charger, purse, and RTA pass. His knee was on top of my back as he cuffed one of my wrists, and then he cut my purse's handle in order to remove it from my grasp. Several other officers arrived and I told them that my rights were being violated. I told them that the officer was making a mistake and that he was being an idiot (I was definitely using profanity at some point, but I was otherwise remaining calm and not resisting). They asked me if I'd even graduated high school. I informed them that I'd earned a master's degree, and they asked me if it was in criminal justice, as I seemed to know so much about rights. At this point I thought I could feel the presence of more than one officer on top of me as they were securing handcuffs behind my back. Somehow I started to feel the cool crisp Lakewood air on my bare bottom, as they had somehow pulled my pants and underwear down exposing my bare naked butt to the wide open night. This had me completely terrified and I kicked back and up with my legs to get them off of me. I hit one of them in the shins, and then heard one of them say, "NOW you're guilty of assault!"
Yesterday, we became aware of the incident and immediately launched a thorough investigation.
Today, we received a formal complaint from Ms. Ferrato, and we will be interviewing her as part of the process.
From what we know now, it appears this incident could have been handled far more appropriately.
We apologize for the way this incident transpired, and this is clearly an unfortunate situation.
Importantly, we will be taking the appropriate action internally, and once the investigation is complete, we will be able to provide further details.
Regarding requests for video and police reports, a complete police report is not yet available. Surveillance video is still being obtained by Transit Police for their use in their investigation. We will let you know when we will be able to release it
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.