RIO VISTA (CBS13) — Police released body camera footage Tuesday from a use of force incident where an officer body slammed a woman.
Cherish Thomas' family says this is another example of the Rio Vista Police using excessive force. It happened when her sister, Mea Thomas, was pulled over for expired tags near her home.
Mea called her mom, Deshunna Payne, and sister Cherish, who arrived shortly after she was pulled over. When they got to the scene, both Payne and Thomas started recording police, asking why their family members were being detained.
Police said they stopped Mea's vehicle for registration that had been suspended by the DMV for two years. After confirming the suspended registration, officers informed Mea Thomas that her car would be towed, but she reportedly told officers they could not tow the car and refused to exit.
Officers detained the passengers in Thomas' car without incident when Payne and Cherish Thomas arrived on the scene. Police said in a statement, "Deshaunna Payne and Cherish Thomas, refused repeated directions and commands to remain at their car and not interfere with the original stop. At this point, the two officers were now confronted with five uncooperative people."
The video shows the moment the officer body slams Thomas and then we see the Payne mother running over before an officer grabs her. Payne continues to try and get to her daughter as the officer holds her back.
Police said Payne and Cherish Thomas approached the officers and refused several commands to return to their car, repeatedly trying to push past the officers to get to the detained passengers.
After tackling Cherish Thomas to the ground, police said a third car of family members arrived and were confrontational and uncooperative.
The Rio Vista Police Department released a statement saying those family members were being uncooperative and were arrested for obstructing an investigation. Four of the six family members there were arrested, including the woman who was body slammed, for public intoxication.
An internal investigation is now underway.
Four people were arrested as a result of this incident:
- Cherise Thomas of Rio Vista for resisting arrest, obstructing or delaying an investigation and public intoxication;
- Deshaunna Payne of Rio Vista for resisting arrest, obstructing or delaying an investigation;
- Mychal Ivy of Rio Vista for felony vandalism and violation of probation; and,
- Mea Thomas of Rio Vista for resisting arrest, obstructing or delaying an investigation and felony vandalism.
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