A police body camera video obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California shows the January 26 arrest of Charlena Cooks after she dropped her daughter off at school. Police responded to an unidentified woman who claimed Cooks was driving recklessly.
The video shows the responding officer telling the unidentified woman that he does't believe a crime has been committed before speaking to Cooks. After briefly speaking to Cooks about the incident, the officer asks Cooks for her name. Cooks responds that she wants to make sure that she is required to give him her name. The officer then tells Cooks he will give her two minutes to give him her name, but less than 20 seconds later he and another officer wrestle Cooks, who was 8 months pregnant at the time, to the ground and hand cuff her.
"I don't think I've ever been that terrified in my life," Cook told the Desert Dispatch. "I never saw that coming. I told him I was pregnant so he could proceed with caution. That didn't happen and the first thing I thought was I didn't want to fall to the ground. I felt the pressure on my stomach from falling and I was calling for help. But those guys are supposed to help me. But who is supposed to help me when they are attacking me?"
The charges of resisting arrest against Cooks were dropped but Barstow city officials continue to insist that the officers acted correctly and denied that race played a role Cooks' arrest.
Below is the footage of Cooks' arrest. Warning, this video is hard to watch.