A New York police officer is on administrative leave after he reportedly punched a female suspect during an arrest at a Walmart.
According to upstate New York station WSTM, surveillance video from July 4 shows a group gathered inside the retail store in East Syracuse. DeWitt Police say five to six people were fighting when Tajenik Byrd, 22, took pepper spray out of her purse and sprayed multiple people.
Authorities say the video also shows Tyreana Edmonds, 26, arguing with store employees and striking them in the face. Officers Rory Spain and Corey Buyck attempted to handcuff Edmonds, who argued with them but didn’t initially resist. Buyck then tried to take Bird into custody but claims she resisted and knocked the officer’s body camera off.
Surveillance video provided by Walmart then shows Buyck and Bird struggle. She then falls to the ground as he tries to handcuff her with Buyck placing his weight on her hips and legs.
As the officers lead the two women out of the store, cell phone video taken by a bystander shows Edmonds attempting to bite Spain’s arm. He then punches her in the face.
Spain has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation regarding his use of force is underway.
“Conclusions about whether the actions of the officers are consistent with the department policy and the law will not be made until all the facts are known and the investigation is complete,” said DeWitt police spokesman Lt. Jerry Pace in a Facebook video posted Thursday (July 8).
Edmonds faces attempted assault and resisting arrest charges while Byrd was charged with child endangerment, assault and resisting arrest. Both have been released.