From [HERE] Na-Sha Lockett was left shaken and traumatized after a male Philadelphia police officer yanked her by her hair, forcefully threw her onto a city street and used racial slurs during an arrest on Wednesday, said her attorney, Emeka Igwe.
Lockett, 18, also accused the officer of leaving her in a patrol car for hours with her hands cuffed behind her back outside a police district building, Igwe said. When police took Lockett out of the car, they put her in jail for the night.
Police charged Lockett with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, but the district attorney’s office declined to prosecute due to lack of evidence, said Ben Waxman, a spokesman for the office.
Lockett, who was released on Thursday, said in an email that she’s grateful to be alive.
“The encounter with the police officers was brutal!” Lockett said. “I felt scared, disrespected, humiliated and physically injured from head-to-toe.”
The confrontation between Lockett and police began between 3 and 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, when she was traveling with three other people in a vehicle in North Philadelphia, Igwe said.
The driver parked the car on the 2300 block of North Colorado Street, not far from Lockett’s home, Igwe said. The three other passengers got out of the car while Lockett remained sitting in the front passenger seat waiting for their return, Igwe said.
That was when police approached the parked car because the vehicle was reported as stolen, Igwe said. However, Igwe said, the car was not stolen and the driver had attempted to remove the car from the database in the past.
The police officer, who was in uniform, approached Lockett as she sat inside the car and ordered her to open the door, Igwe said.
When Lockett did not open the door, the officer opened the door, removed her from the vehicle, and put her in handcuffs, Igwe said. The officer never told Lockett why she was being detained, Igwe added.
A minute-long video of the encounter posted on YouTube shows Lockett standing with her hands cuffed behind her back and pressed up against the rear of the police vehicle by the unidentified officer.
In the video, Lockett can be seen yelling and cursing as she stood facing away from the officer, but she did not appear to be physically resisting the officer.
Lockett says, “I’m about to spit on you.”
The officer can be seen in the video grabbing Lockett’s hair, spinning her around and using a leg-sweep to get her onto the ground. Another officer can be seen in the video standing only a few inches away from Lockett and the first officer.
“Get off of me!” Lockett can be heard screaming while on the ground in the video.
Lockett did not spit at the officer, Igwe said, and her face was turned away from the officer when he yanked her hair.
Igwe said the officer used racial slurs during the arrest, including calling Lockett a “Black bastard” and a “Black b----.”
In the video, a female bystander can be seen walking up to Lockett and the officer on the ground, yelling, “Why are you on her like that?”
Lockett was receiving medical attention for a sprained neck, headaches and more, Igwe said.
“I don’t think there’s any way to sugarcoat it other than it was an assault on her by this Philadelphia police officer,” Igwe said.
Igwe called for a timely investigation into the incident and, if warranted, for charges to be filed against the officer. He added that Lockett was considering filing a lawsuit over the incident.
“An apology is not sufficient,” he said. “There needs to be consequences.”
Mark Kelly Tyler, senior pastor at Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, said the brief video of the encounter was “extremely troubling” and appeared to be “a classic example of excessive force.” He believed race was a factor in the officer’s decision to use force, saying Blacks have a long history of abuse at the hands of police in Philadelphia.
“I couldn’t see him doing that to a white woman,” he said.