Police Respond After Video Shows Woman Detained in Front of Her Children in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
The Tuscaloosa Police Department has provided new information about a video shared online that shows a mother being forcibly detained by TPD officers as her children watch.
The video apparently shows the woman already detained and on the ground, as her children cry nearby. The mother can be heard pleading with officers to not do this in front of her children, and she yells to the woman filming to watch her children as they run up the nearby sidewalk.
Stephanie Taylor, a spokesperson for the Tuscaloosa Police Department, said the incident began when officers were patrolling in the area of 21st Street and noticed a toddler standing up in the front passenger seat of a moving vehicle.
They attempted to pull the driver over, who eventually stopped in front of an apartment in the 4400 block of 21st Street near Hay Court Apartments.
An officer approached the driver, a 28-year-old woman, and asked her to remain in her vehicle while he issued a ticket for a car seat violation.
The woman allegedly refused, got out of the car, and walked around to the front passengers side.
She then reportedly removed her children, ages 3 and 1, from the front seat. Taylor said neither child was restrained in a car seat or with a seatbelt. However, officers later found car seats in the trunk of her car.
Officers allegedly asked the woman to stop multiple times and speak with them, but she refused. At that point, the officers placed her in handcuffs as she continued to resist, which is where the video starts.
The video has since been shared online, with commenters criticizing the officers' use of force in front of the children.
"This is yet another example of the ways TPD disrespects and harms our community, especially our black residents," said a post from Tuscaloosa Action on Facebook, a local group campaigning for progressive action across West Alabama. "Again and again we hear stories of overly violent arrests, overly aggressive officers, and a lack of treating Tuscaloosa residents with basic respect and dignity."
The post also encouraged any members of the group or those who felt led to address the matter in front of the Tuscaloosa City Council Tuesday night at their regular meeting.
Taylor did not provide comment on the officer's actions, or the woman's condition Tuesday afternoon.
The woman was charged with resisting arrest, a misdemeanor, and cited for two child restraint violations. A family member was called to the scene to take custody of the children.
The Tuscaloosa Thread's policy is to only identify suspects accused of felonies by name, so the woman's name will not be shared here.
Nothing further is available at this time. Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for new information if it becomes available.