A 26-year-old black woman, Chantel Bates, was roughed up by police in Indianapolis, Indiana after they claimed to smell marijuana coming from the car she was riding in on July 14.
Two people immediately got out of the car, but Bates told WRTV that she was still in the car, getting her cell phone to record the incident:
I said, “I’m going to let you know right now, for my safety and for your safety, I’m about to record this.” As soon as I reach for my phone, he slaps it out of my hand. He breaks my phone. The [other] officer to the right of me reaches in on the passenger side… turns my car off and snatches the key out the ignition.
The officer on the driver side — because the windows are all the way down — reaches inside, from the outside, yanks open my door and takes my left arm and pulls me directly out of my car and directly on the ground.
While Bates was pinned down by the police, she said she could not breathe:
I‘m not refusing, please stop. Please stop, I’m a girl. Help me, please. I’m not refusing. I can’t breathe, help me.
One of the officers pinning Bates to the ground said, “You’re breathing just fine — shut up!”
Bates told WRTV that she feared for her life at that point:
I wasn’t prepared for this to happen… You knew you were wrong… why are three grown men on top of me and telling bystanders to stop recording.
Bates said the officers told her they knew she was selling drugs:
I said, “you’re lying, sir. Admit your fault and let me go.” I did not kick on nobody or spit on nobody.
Bates posted the video of her arrest on social media where she has watched others abused by the police:
I’ve always made sure to watch the YouTube videos of police brutality so I know what to say, this-versus-that, what cases do I need to know to protect myself if this ever happens to me. And I think I studied it so much, and watched so much — law of attraction — you know.
Indy10 Black Lives Matter, the Indianapolis Women’s March and Indiana National Organization for Women demanded legal action be taken against the officers, who reportedly found four marijuana roaches inside the car.
Bates has been resisting law enforcement and possession of marijuana.