Police Sergeant Put On Leave After Video Shows Him Punching Black Woman

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An Ohio police sergeant has been placed on administrative leave after he was caught on video punching a Black woman following a dispute over cheese at a local McDonalds.

The incident unfolded on Monday (January 16), when Butler Township, Ohio police officers responded to a report of a woman yelling at employees over an order mistake at the fast food chain.

“She’s mad over a $.30 piece of cheese,” a Mcdonalds employee who called 911 told dispatchers, per records obtained by KIRO 7 News.

Body camera footage shows the woman, identified as Latinka Hancock, waiting in her car when Sgt. Todd Stanley and Officer Tim Zellers arrived at the scene. When Stanley directed her to fill out a notice for trespassing, she refused.

In the footage, Hancock can be seen speaking with police before the encounter became physical as officers said she resisted arrest. Zellers was caught on body camera footage pointing his taser at Hancock, and Stanley punched the woman in the face three times before pressing her against a police cruiser and putting her handcuffs.

Bystander video also captured the violent arrest, sparking outrage among the community.

Butler Township Police Chief John Porter said Wednesday (January 18) that Stanley had been put on leave amid an internal investigation into the incident. Porter cited "hate mail" received by Stanley and the department as one of the reasons behind the officer being placed on leave.

Porter declined to say whether he believed the officers' actions were appropriate during the arrest.

“The officers are given options and until I have all the information, I’m not gonna comment on what is the appropriate response action to this yet,” he said during a press conference on Wednesday.

Hancock is still facing charges of resisting arrest and failure to identify. Police also said Hancock was driving under suspension and had an open container of alcohol in her vehicle.

She has retained attorney Michael L. Wright, who confirmed his client was taken treated at the hospital for a concussion and other injuries following the arrest.

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