Video Shows NorCal Officer Body Slam Woman During Traffic Stop; Investigation Underway

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A mother is outraged and a use of force investigation is underway after a woman being body slammed to the ground by a Rio Vista police officer was captured on cellphone and bodycam video, according to KTLA sister station KTXL in Sacramento.

It happened Sunday during a traffic stop a block away from home for a couple of siblings and a brother-in-law, who told KTXL they were returning home from a quick errand that evening.

"Went to go to the store to pick up some sour cream and some cheese for our tacos," Monaisha Thomas said.

The family says the officer who approached their car appeared irritated from the start.

"Like he came to do something and he wanted it done, so he's gonna get it done," Thomas told KTXL. "I felt like he was hoping that we weren't complying."

Rio Vista Police Chief Dan Dailey responded with a written statement, explaining the officer told the occupants of the car that it had suspended registration and was going to be towed away.

But Mea Thomas, the car's driver, said that's not that case.

"I'm still trying to figure out how if I just got the car and everything was up to date and I just paid for the tags," she said.

Police told KTXL Thomas refused to exit the car. Officers detained her two passengers, then another car pulled up the scene.

In the second car was Thomas' mother, Deshaunna Payne, and Deshaunna's other daughter, Cherish Thomas. They both got out and started recording cellphone video.

At the same time, detainee Tyrone Clayton Jr. was recording from the back seat of the patrol car.

Police say the two women ignored directions to remain with their car and repeatedly tried to push past the officers.

Payne tells the story differently.

"He's aggressing her. He's walking towards her," she said of her daughter, Cherish. "Her hands weren't cuffed. She didn't have nothing in her hand. He had slapped the phone out her hand."

The officer then slammed Cherish Thomas to the ground.

"That's a woman," Clayton said. "You're double, triple her size. I mean, what was the need for the use of force?"

Cherish Thomas was at home but asleep during KTXL's visit with the family. Relatives said she suffered some injuries from the body slam and is sore and tired.

"What doesn't sit well with me is them saying that I tried to swing on the officer," Payne said. "You slammed my daughter to the ground. Dirt, which is hard as concrete, on her face. He's three times bigger than her. That was unnecessary."

Cherish Thomas, Payne, Mea Thomas and Mychal Ivy were all arrested and later released. Cherish was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, obstructing or delaying an investigation and public intoxication. The other accusations were listed in a press release sent to KTXL by the Rio Vista Police Department.

The family has an attorney and said they are planning to fight the charges they're facing. They also want the officer who slammed Cherish to face disciplinary action.

On Tuesday, police released eight videos from bodycam footage that show the incident unfold.

"Don't come close to me," an officer can be heard saying to Cherish, who walked toward him to film, before grabbing her arm and turning her around. "You need to go this way."

He then takes her to the ground.

"Get him off my daughter! Get him off my f—ing daughter, now!" Payne yells as the other officer holds her back then grabs her arm to detain her.

An internal investigation into the officer's use of force is being conducted.

Chief Dailey says the officer who tackled Cherish has not been placed on leave.

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