Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Police officer slams music festival woman to sand in wrestling-style move
Police chiefs in Florida have defended an officer who was filmed slamming a woman into the sand during an arrest.
Video footage of Sara Greenback's arrest became an internet sensation after it was posted on YouTube.
The 25-year-old was slammed to the ground in a wrestling-style move by Lt Douglas Simon after she was thrown out of a music festival on Miami Beach
An angry crowd surrounded the officer as he struggled to place handcuffs on Greenback, who was arrested for disorderly conduct.
The confrontation took place after Greenback ran from police who raced after her along the popular tourist beach on an ATV vehicle.
When Simon caught up with Greenback she fought back against handcuffs being placed on her, holding on to the ATV and struggling out of the officer's grip.
As Simon attempts to move Greenback away from the vehicle he picks her up and slams her down into the sand.
One of the eye-witnesses can he heard on the tape saying 'take down' as Greenback looks stunned as she gets up from the sand using her hands to show a 'peace' symbol.
Abelardo Soto, 29, who is seen on the tape grappling with officers as he tries to reach Greenback, was also arrested during the volatile incident.
Detective Juan Sanchez, a Miami police spokesman said they had reviewed the videos and found Simon acted appropriately.
'The department has concluded that the officer acted appropriately while affecting the arrests and dealing with the volatile situation at hand,' he said.
'When assessing the officer’s response to this situation, it’s imperative to consider the totality of the circumstances.
'In doing so, there was a large crowd becoming increasingly hostile closing in on one officer, a civilian rendering aid to the officer, two subjects actively resisting arrest, and another inciting the crowd.'
Miami Beach Mayor Mattie Herrera Bower said the situation was getting out of control.
'Here is this one policeman, and the crowd is getting bigger and bigger,' Bower said.
'He had to be in control. There was no doubt that a policeman needs to be in control. It was very rude and heavy how he got her down.'
Bower said the beach on Saturday was full of angry party-goers who had been denied entry to a Funkshion Fashion Week concert.
Safety officials had been forced to shut down a concert by Swedish House Mafia due to overcrowding.
Greenback, from Maryland, was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Soto, 29, was arrested and charged with aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence and affray.