CHICOPEE, Mass. (CNN) — A dramatic surveillance video that was just released shows a police officer choking Maylene Maldonado during an arrest at the Chicopee Police Department, according to WSHM.
It’s led to the recent federal lawsuit she filed against the city and eight of the police department’s officers for police brutality.
Maldonado alleges Chicopee Police Sgt. Daniel Major unjustifiably choked her during a booking on Feb. 17, 2013.
You can see in the video CBS 3 showed you first that Maldonado steps out of the elevator into the booking room relatively calm.
According to police reports, she had just been arrested on Burnett Road by the Pride station near the Econo Lodge for slapping an officer in the face and resisting arrest. She admits to being on PCP and under the influence of alcohol.
William Jebb, the deputy chief of the department at the time, said in documents CBS 3 obtained that the video should be investigated, calling the actions in the video “excessive and possibly criminal in nature,” as Major “appears to lose his composure.”
He’s referring to what happens after Maldonado complains of her lip ring hurting her.
“It hurts,” you can hear her scream in the video. “Listen! I’m telling you, I can’t take it off. Can you please take it off? Please? It’s hurting my lip. It’s bleeding.”
Major puts his hands near Maldonado’s neck, in what former acting chief Thomas Charette says is an effort to keep the blood from her lip from getting on the officers. Jebb disagrees with Charette and believes Maldonado is in a choke-hold.
Jebb took the video to the mayor’s office in a move Charette called a violation to the policies and procedures of the department. Charette writes that Jebb’s actions were two-fold:
“First, to retaliate against Sgt. Dan Major, whom he clearly has had a contentious relationship with and more so, to bring discredit and embarrassment to me, in an effort to gain standing for himself in regards to the permanent Police Chief position. I find his actions deplorable and his report on this matter indefensible.”
Charette, also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, agreed with findings from the department that Major did not violate any policies or procedures, though Major has since been charged with assault and battery.
Major retired from his position at the Chicopee Police Department following this lawsuit. Charette also retired, after Mayor Richard Kos gave Jebb the chief position.