FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — The police body cam video of a Fayetteville woman’s arrest has been released after a lawsuit was filed complaining that police were overly aggressive.
Ja’Lana Dunlap was parked in a vacant lot owned by her employer on Sept. 6 when the 22-year-old’s civil rights attorneys said she was assaulted while handcuffed after she refused to show them her I.D.
Dunlap previously said she was taking pictures of illegal trash dumped on the property for her employer when officers approached her.
In the first body camera footage released by police, officers can be seen grabbing Dunlap in her vehicle while she told them multiple times she would exit her vehicle if they just let go of her.
“If you can let go of me, ma’am, I will,” she said.
Later in the video, Dunlap is seen screaming after officers handcuff her once she exits her car.
“Somebody help me!” Dunlap screamed multiple times.
At least six officers were seen throughout the first body camera video.
In the second video, an officer blatantly asks Dunlap if she is waiting for anyone, to which she said no.
Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins previously said in a statement that her officers thought Dunlap could have been involved in the getaway of a “potentially violent suspect” half a mile away.
“This is a case where she is in a vacant lot owned by her employer and she’s doing her job,” Carnell Johnson, Dunlap’s attorney said on Oct. 25.
The same officer that asked Dunlap if she was waiting for anyone also asked for her I.D. and told her she is not in any trouble while doing so. The officer said he wanted to be sure Dunlap was not trespassing and that’s why he asked for her identification.
The video shows her continued refusal, her blow smoke out of something and the officer’s claim that “she is trying to leave.”
Finally, the officer in the video offers a compromise.
He said, “It can be very simple, ma’am. If you let me document who you are, then I will let you get out [leave].”
Upon further refusal, the accounts from the first video are seen from the first body camera video.
“The body-worn camera footage being made available shows the interaction when members of FPD’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team encountered Ms. Dunlap. On Sept. 6, members of FPD’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team attempted to serve arrest warrants for Joshua Page for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, first-degree kidnapping and felony conspiracy,” the Fayetteville Police Department said on Tuesday. “During this, Page ran from officers into the wooded area in the neighborhood located near Thorndike Drive. Officers began canvassing the neighborhood when they observed Ms. Dunlap’s vehicle.”
The internal investigation initiated by Ms. Dunlap’s complaint remains ongoing and no further details are available.
A police spokesperson said, “We are pleased Judge Ammons agreed to our request to release this footage in the interest of transparency and building public trust.”
Editor’s Note: There were four body camera videos released. However, videos three and four did not provide details not already provided in videos one and two.
Justin Moore contributed to this story.