In the brief clip shared by the news site, the woman could be heard cursing and arguing as the officer—who was off duty and working security at the Walmart in Roebuck—attempts to handcuff her. Suddenly, the officer can be seen picking up the woman off the floor and slamming her toward the ground as shoppers gasp in apparent shock.
Al.com reported that the altercation stemmed from the woman’s lack of a face mask; however, in a video statement, police spokesperson Sergeant Rod Mauldin said that initial contact was made as a result of the unidentified woman’s alleged disorderly conduct during an interaction with a Walmart employee.
“We understand we are operating in trying times,” Mauldin said in the video. “Our records indicate we have not issued any citations or made arrests as it relates to the shelter-in-place ordinance or the face-covering ordinance. We have made a valiant effort to gain compliance and cooperation, and we will continue to do so working with the citizens of Birmingham.”
Mauldin noted that the incident in question actually occurred on April 5.
A preliminary investigation noted that a Walmart employee advised the woman to wear a mask before entering the store. The woman became disorderly after that, according to Maudlin, allegedly yelling obscenities to customers and employees at Walmart. The woman was asked to leave the store and refused to do so, prompting the officer to attempt to detain her.
“She continued to resist,” Mauldin said. “The officer used a takedown measure to gain control due to the other threat factors in the store. The subject was not injured during the arrest and she refused medical evaluation.”
The woman was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, criminal trespassing in the third degree, possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of a controlled substance, according to Mauldin.
Nonetheless, due to the use of force, a preliminary investigation has been launched into the matter, per police protocol.
“A preliminary investigation consistent with the Birmingham Police Department’s reportable use of force protocols were immediately initiated and investigators of the Internal Affairs Division are conducting an investigation,” Mauldin noted. “This protocol applies to all use-of-force incidents that occur within the Birmingham Police Department.”