Cops Release Body Cam Footage Of Viral Arrest On Yonkers Street
Cellphone footage of a woman being arrested on a Yonkers street created controversy and public backlash after a local business owner and well-known rapper took issue as police were taking the woman into custody.
Video of the volatile interaction went viral on social media after entertainer Styles P reacted to the arrest near Juices for Life, the Yonkers juice bar he owns with fellow rapper Jadakiss. Yonkers police said, however, that the TikTok version of events doesn't tell the whole story.
On Wednesday night, the department released unedited body cam footage of the highly charged arrest.
"The Yonkers Police Department is aware of a video that surfaced on social media regarding an interaction between Yonkers Police Officers and members of the community," Yonkers Police Department officials said in a statement released on Thursday. "The Yonkers Police Department is committed to transparency and serving the Yonkers community with service, integrity, and respect."
The body cam footage released last night appears to show the woman fleeing from officers while she was being detained during an investigation into "reckless driving of an unregistered moped on a busy city sidewalk," according to police. After the she attempted to flee, the officers can be seen racing to catch up to her and attempting to restrain her.
She still refused to stop and an officer utilized a "standard take-down" to bring her to the ground to be handcuffed, according to officials. The take-down and the officers' attempt to cuff the woman were captured on the body cam footage.
After she was taken into custody, police said a knife was recovered from "an easily accessible front compartment on the moped."
As the officers struggled to handcuff the woman, Styles P approached urging the woman to comply with police, but also emotionally taking issue with the manner in which she was being detained. Using colorful language, the celebrity business-owner challenged the woman's treatment by police.
"You slammed a girl for no reason," Styles P can be heard telling officers. At one point, he shouted that the officers were "scared of Black people." He took issue with one of the officers keeping a hand on his service weapon during the take-down. "You hand your hand on your gun, with a female he slammed on the floor," he could be heard saying as he pantomimed the police officer holding a weapon at the ready.
The rapper eventually walked back to his place of business, but not before defiantly warning officers not to touch him, lest he retaliate. "You touch me, I'm gonna sleep you," Styles P threatens near the end of the confrontation.
Earlier in the body cam footage, the woman who was arrested tells officers that she was delivering for DoorDash. It isn't clear if she had been picking up an order for delivery at the rapper's juice bar.
Although the escalation stemmed from an investigation into a seemingly minor offense, Yonkers police said that unregistered and uninsured moped operation on streets and sidewalks has been among the most frequent complaints from community groups in recent months.
"An internal investigation was immediately commenced at the scene, even before any videos of the incident were published to social media. The Yonkers Police Department routinely conducts full investigations into all uses of force by our officers," police officials said in a statement. "The investigation is ongoing."
For his part, Styles P indicated that he regretted his emotional response to the situation, saying seeing a woman involved in a struggle made him "act out of character."
"I don't hate cops," he later said in an Instagram post viewed more than 100,000 times. "I hate mistreatment of poor people. I hate the mistreatment of poor Black people ... I blame the system ... Now, I was so mad that I wanted to kinda fight the cop, which is one of the dumbest things you could ever do."
He urged his fans not to emulate his behavior in similar situations, but said everyone should be willing to stand up for what's right, writing, "Lotta frustrated people out and about that's tired of seeing the women and kids mistreated."