A startling video of a Louisiana deputy violently slamming a Black woman to the ground by her hair has gone viral across the internet.
According to Nola.com, the woman has now been identified as 34-year-old Shantel Arnold. In the shocking clip, Arnold is seen laying on the sidewalk pavement as a deputy from the Jefferson Parish Office drags her by the wrist. The deputy then quickly disappears out of view just moments before cell phone footage shows him dragging and tossing Arnold by her braids. He then slams Arnold to the ground so hard that one of her braids falls out.
Sadly, before Arnold’s violent exchange with the deputy, authorities say a group of boys had previously attacked her while she was walking near her family’s trailer. Arnold is reportedly only 4 feet tall and weighs nearly 100 pounds. She had also previously lost her left eye in a car accident making her even more vulnerable to unexpected attacks and an easy target for neighborhood bullies, her family explained.
The vicious assault, which was recorded by cell phone, showed Arnold attempting to fend off her attackers with a stick as the boys slammed her to the ground. A group of bystanders watched and laughed during the harrowing incident, however, things swiftly ended after Arnold’s stepfather Lionel Gray stepped in to defend her.
Arnold, who was covered in dirt and badly shaken up from the incident, then began walking down the road to her family’s trailer. That’s when the unidentified deputy pulled up to her in his patrol car demanding that she stop and talk to him. Arnold declined and expressed that she just wanted to go home and continued walking down the road with Gray and her uncle, Tony Givens, who was also present. According to both men, the deputy then jumped out of his patrol car and slammed Arnold to the ground. Gray later told authorities that his stepdaughter did not resist arrest.
“She didn’t have a chance to pull away because, you know, this guy was strong,” the 71-year-old explained. “He grabbed her arm, and some kind of move he made, and she went down to the ground. … So I was walking up to him and he told me, ‘If you come any closer I’m going to kick everybody’s ass out here.’ So, I said … ‘you don’t have to use that type of force on that little woman right there, she’s a midget.’”
TMZ reported that Arnold was taken to the hospital for her injuries and that she wasn’t arrested or charged following the unruly encounter with the officer. The Jefferson Parish Sherrif’s Office has now launched an official investigation into the incident.