Tuscaloosa police investigating viral video of officers appearing to beat woman during traffic stop arrest

Updated: Apr. 21, 2019 at 10:32 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - We are learning more about the viral video of Tuscaloosa police appearing to beat a woman during a traffic stop.

The woman who recorded the video is speaking out, saying she felt helpless while Jhasmynn Alexiss Sheppard was being arrested and that all she could do was grab her cellphone and press record.

“She’s already on the ground. You have two male cops with a female. I feel like the baton and the punching should’ve never happened,” said the woman who recorded the video.

The two male officers on top of a woman appeared to punch and slam her into the ground. The woman struggles and then an officer whips out a baton and hits the woman with it.

The woman who recorded the video says it started as a normal traffic stop. But at one point, the Sheppard got out of her car.

“I don’t know what was said. She proceeded to grab for something and I guess she hit him in the private area,” the woman said.

That’s when she says the officer and Sheppard started to tussle, falling to the ground. The second officer then jumped in.

“It was several times I wish I could’ve gone outside and said, ‘Just do whatever they tell you do,'" said the woman who recorded the video.

Sheppard is charged with resisting arrest, assault and disarming law enforcement. She’s being held on $22,000 bond.

The woman who recorded the video says she’s grateful Sheppard didn’t lose her life that day.

“When you get arrested or you get stopped by the police, do everything that they ask you to do. Do not try to fight them. Do not try to grab their guns. Do not try to do anything to them because it could’ve been a worse situation than what it was,” she said.

Tuscaloosa police sent us this statement in response to the video:

“The Tuscaloosa Police Department is aware of the video released on social media involving our officers during an arrest on Friday, April 19, 2019. We take this matter very seriously and have begun an investigation to determine the full details of the incident. We will release the findings once the investigation is complete.”

Police say they are taking this matter seriously and they are investigating the incident.

We have reached out to police for more information and are waiting for a response.

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