A police officer in Ohio has been placed on administrative leave after a video captured him hitting a Black woman many times as she was being taken into custody following an argument over extra cheese on a Big Mac at McDonald’s.
A bystander recorded the event on film soon after 4 p.m. on Monday at the eatery in Butler Township, Ohio. It began when Laticka Hancock, 31, of Dayton, purchased a Big Mac and returned shortly thereafter because it lacked the additional cheese she had paid for.
According to Hancock, a restaurant staff ordered another employee to reconstruct her burger, but then asked Hancock to pay more for the additional cheese. Hancock stated that she had already paid for it and requested a refund, which she ultimately obtained.
Hancock reported then being informed that the police had been contacted and being ordered to leave the restaurant. Two Butler police, Sgt. Todd Stanley and Tim Zellers, arrived at the scene at around 4:20 p.m. and questioned Hancock about the incident.
When questioned for her driver’s licence, Hancock allegedly informed the cops she did not have one and refused to offer identification. As the argument quickly escalated, one of the cops decided to arrest Hancock.
Officers said Hancock resisted arrest, leading Stanley to strike Hancock on the right side of the face with an open palm. Hancock was subsequently taken in handcuffs, transported in a police car, and charged with resisting arrest in addition to three other lesser offences. According to authorities, Hancock was bleeding profusely from her lips and was examined by an EMT who found the injury to be superficial.
Stanley has served on the Butler force for about 22 years, whilst Zellers has served for around 2 and a half years. Chief of Police John Porter stated that Stanley’s personnel file has no official reprimands and that he was placed on administrative leave as a consequence of frequent contact from concerned neighbours, including “a lot of hate emails and phone calls.”
Porter stated that Zellers has not been placed on leave.
Hancock and her attorney Michael Wright attended a press conference about the event on Wednesday. Hancock stated that she felt as though she might have lost her life over a sandwich and was fortunate to be able to relate her side of the story today.
“I don’t want people to think I’m fussing over a slice of cheese,” she stated.
According to Wright, the responding police “were seeking for a fight rather than to deescalate the situation.”
He demanded Stanley’s dismissal and assault-related charges. In addition, he blasted the eatery for phoning the police over the argument.
“If they can’t manage basic customer service and are willing to put someone’s life at risk over a mismanaged Big Mac, it’s no longer safe for Black people to dine at McDonald’s,” added Wright.
Wright stated that no decision has been made as to whether or not a lawsuit would be brought, adding that his business is awaiting further recordings from inside McDonald’s and additional information from police before making a determination.
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