The Police Department has launched an internal investigation after receiving a video this week that reportedly shows an officer pulling a woman from a ditch by her hair, Police Chief Dwayne White said.
White said in a release that the video, filmed Saturday evening on Nicholson Drive, shows the officer use force that “certainly appears excessive and contrary to the methods employed by this department for officers effecting arrests.”
The officer, who was not identified, has not been placed on administrative leave, White said.
The officer in the video can be heard telling a woman to “get up” and “put your hands behind your back” while she sits in front of him in a ditch.
The woman appears to object to the officer.
The video shows the officer then grabbing the woman’s hair to pull her from the ditch before letting go and walking away.
Television station WAFB purchased the video from Nick Rhoton, an LSU graduate student who was filming a documentary on LSU tailgating when he and his cameraman stumbled upon the scene.
WAFB showed the video on its Monday and Tuesday telecasts.
The woman in the video, Melinda Morris, declined comment Tuesday evening.
Morris told WAFB she was on a motorcycle Saturday evening when she got into an accident at Nicholson Drive near Lee Drive.
The responding officers and Morris’ son later argued at the scene, and Morris tried to intervene, WAFB reported.
WAFB reported a patrol car dashboard camera shows Morris hitting an officer at least three times before falling into the ditch nearby.
The TV station did not air the dashboard camera video.
Morris told WAFB she didn’t hit the officer but bumped into him because of dizziness before falling into the ditch.
The video shows the woman then being arrested by other officers. WAFB reported Morris was placed into the back of a squad car before being removed and taken to the hospital by EMS.
Rhoton said Tuesday he and his cameraman remained at the scene that night to talk with bystanders about what happened.
“There’s been questions raised whether she was physically striking the officer, but we weren’t there for that,” Rhoton said. “I don’t recall anyone (we talked to afterward) who speaks to that.”
White said the department has not received any complaints from anyone involved in the incident.
White said the police department will not be making any other comments on the incident until all investigations are complete.