A video has surfaced of a Black woman being repeatedly punched by a white male police officer during an arrest in North Carolina. The woman, Christina Pierre, and Anthony Lee were allegedly smoking marijuana in public when approached by the police. The officer who reportedly hit Pierre, Vincent Pistone, has been moved from patrol duties to a temporary assignment pending an internal investigation, while Pierre and Lee, both employed by fast-food company Bojangles, face various charges, including assault on a government official and possessing marijuana.
Black Woman Allegedly Assaulted by North Carolina Police Officer in Disturbing Video
Footage has emerged showing a Black woman allegedly being hit by a white policeman in North Carolina, according to authorities on Wednesday. The video captures the woman and a man, identified as Christina Pierre, 24, and Anthony Lee, 37, being approached by police for supposedly smoking marijuana in public.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings, responding to the incident, stated, “I understand the outrage and the emotions triggered by the video showing an officer punching a female during an arrest attempt and subduing.” He confirmed that his department is taking necessary legal and administrative steps to release the body camera video.
The video shows Pierre surrounded by four officers while Officer Vincent Pistone enters the scene to strike her multiple times. Police said she was hit seven times in the knees and 10 times with a closed fist. The man arrested with her was found to be armed with a 9 mm handgun.
Police justified Pistone’s actions as “compliance strikes” in a press conference. These actions, they claimed, are consistent with their training and are executed to gain compliance and prevent further assault by a non-compliant subject. Currently, Pistone is on temporary assignment and has been removed from patrol duties pending an internal investigation.
Jennings acknowledged the public perception of excessive police force and the historical mistreatment of Black and brown individuals by law enforcement. He also raised questions as to whether an arrest for marijuana use was warranted.
Lee was charged with concealed firearm possession, resist/delay/obstruct, and simple possession of marijuana. His attorney information was not available. Pierre was charged with assaulting a government official, resist/delay/obstruct, and simple possession of marijuana. Her attorney could not be immediately reached for comment.
According to a representative for Charlotte-based Bojangles, the pair work for the fast-food company and had just ended their shifts when police approached them. The company, in a statement, revealed their shock and sadness over the incident and confirmed that both Lee and Pierre remain employed with them.
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