Short suspension for officer caught on camera brutally beating woman

CHARLOTTE, NC – A police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been suspended after new video footage of an arrest was released. The new video captured an officer using excessive force.

Officer Vincent Pistone received a 40-hour suspension following an internal affairs investigation that determined he had used excessive force during the November 13 confrontation. Additionally, the investigation found that the other six officers who were also involved in the incident were justified in their actions.

The newly released body camera and bystander videos provide a broader view of the encounter at a Charlotte bus stop, giving insight into what led to the confrontation. The footage shows that the woman involved struck an officer in the face, leading the officer to respond by hitting her back and knocking her off her feet.

Officer Pistone, who was not involved in the initial exchange of blows, can be seen in the video repeatedly striking the woman with a closed fist while four other officers held her down. Bystanders at the scene can be heard shouting at the officers to stop. Eventually, the woman is led away with her arms behind her back.

During the incident, Pistone reportedly delivered seven knee strikes and ten punches to the woman’s thigh. Tuesday’s statement from Police Chief Johnny Jennings revealed that all but the first three strikes were deemed excessive.

Jennings confirmed that Pistone will also undergo additional training as a result of the incident. A professional organization for officers, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #9, has not responded to a request for comment or clarification as to whether Pistone has a representative.

Prior to the internal investigation, a police spokesperson stated that Pistone’s actions were consistent with his training and were intended to get compliance from the woman by striking a nerve in her leg. The police have not released any further information about the officers involved, including their races.

When Chief Jennings was asked if the officer who punched the woman in the face was justified, he stated that the response was warranted after the officer had been struck twice.

Body camera footage released on Tuesday portrays officers approaching a woman and a man seated at a bus stop in front of a Bojangles restaurant. The officers initially claimed they detected the smell of marijuana, leading to an exchange where the pair explained they had been smoking a legal cannabis compound purchased from a smoke shop. While attempting to arrest the man, the woman became involved in the altercation, resulting in the use of force.

Both the man and the 24-year-old Black woman from Charlotte were eventually arrested that day. The man was accused of carrying a concealed weapon. The woman faces charges of assaulting a government official, resisting officers, and marijuana possession. However, all charges against them were later dropped.