Outrage after police filmed kneeling on back of pregnant black woman
Deja Stallings speaks on Thursday as protests against her arrest continue last week (AP)
Protests in Kansas City continued after a video was condemned of an officer kneeling on the back of a black pregnant woman in an arrest last week.
Deja Stallings, who is nine months pregnant, was captured during her arrest on Sept. 30 in scenes similar to the arrest of George Floyd, who died in May in police custody in Minneapolis.
The video, published on social media, showed a police officer kneeling on the back of the 25-year-old in front of a gas station whose security officer had called 911 with reports of a 20-person fight.
The Kansas City Police Department said in a statement that Stallings landed on the ground for defying arrest while standing.
Upon arrival at the gas station, officers were instructed to "remove anyone from the property who hadn't bought anything," including stallings and up to 20 others.
The crowd, Kansas City police said, then attempted to intervene in the arrest of a man, and "At that time, a woman and a man tried to drag the suspect away from the officers."
Surveillance cameras from the gas station showed some members of the group pushing each other before the police arrived, which then led to an argument with Stallings.
The woman's attorney, Stacy Shaw, told CNN that she hadn't tried to drag the suspect away.
Stallings can be seen between an officer and the man who escaped arrest and ran away while the pregnant woman moves out of view of the surveillance camera.
At the time, police reportedly resisted the arrest and is seen minutes later on mobile video footage with an officer kneeling on her back.
On Thursday, Stallings tried to address a crowd of protesters stationed outside Kansas City Hall, where she burst into tears and sat down.
Stallings' attorney, Ms. Shaw, read her statement describing the physical pain and bruise that appeared on her back a week after she was arrested.
"I cry every day because I'm scared for my baby," she said. “My little girl wasn't even born and is a victim of police brutality. I try to stay strong but I know my baby is a fighter. She must be the last child to be a victim of the KCPD. She needs the requirements of this profession in order to be fulfilled. "
The lawyer said doctors examined the unborn baby named Dsyre and it appears to be healthy.
The protesters called for the resignation of Kansas City Police Chief Richard Smith and urged the city to divert 50 percent of the department's budget to social services for the city's black community, the lawyer said.
Kansas City police spokesman David Jackson told CNN that "the chief will not resign" while officers are on duty pending an investigation.
Additional coverage from Associated Press.
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