BOCA RATON, FLA. (WSVN) - A Boca Raton Police officer is under investigation after a pregnant woman was caught on video being thrown to the ground and placed in handcuffs in the parking lot of a gas station.

Nerillia Laurent, who is 23 weeks pregnant, said it all started when someone called 911 after seeing her and her boyfriend, Harry Hardy, appearing to be arguing at the Mobil station on Congress Avenue, May 22.

Laurent, 24, said the 911 caller was mistaken.

“When I was pulling out of the gas station, my transmission light came on, and my car cut off. My boyfriend, he was standing in front of my car, trying to get me to open the hood,” she said.

Officer-worn police body camera video captured the interaction between two responding officers and the couple.

“If everything’s good, why are we getting all kinds of phone calls?” one of the responding officers asked Hardy.

“Because we had a dispute,” said Hardy.

“OK, you’re having a dispute in public, in my city,” said the officer.

Things quickly escalated once the officer asked for the couple’s IDs.

“Ma’am, I need your ID, please,” an officer is heard saying on cellphone video.

“My mom is almost here. I’m gonna wait for my mom,” said Laurent.

“No, you’re not gonna wait for your mom. You’re operating a motor vehicle in my city, on the sidewalk,” said the officer.

Laurent said one of the two responding officers took her car keys. She and Hardy refused to give them an ID.

“You will give me your license or I will arrest you,” said one of the officers.

Laurent said the refusal to provide an ID stemmed from fear.

“This, honestly, how aggressive he was, he was scaring me,” she said. “I didn’t wanna piss him off anymore, I didn’t wanna reach for something, and then he thinks I’m reaching for something else.”

One of the officers, identified by the police department as Officer McNichol, pulled Laurent from the car.

“I’m pregnant!” she said.

“I don’t care. You don’t have a right not to give me your license and registration,” said McNichol.

Laurent and Hardy were both put into handcuffs and placed under arrest.

“I cannot breathe in here!” said Laurent.

“Sure you can,” said McNichol.

Boca Raton Police Chief Michele Miuccio released a statement on Thursday. It reads in part, “One of our officer’s actions did not help to de-escalate the situation.”

Miuccio went on to say that an internal affairs investigation has been initiated into the officer’s conduct.

“I just feel like when we get justice, I’ll know what it feels like,” said Laurent. “I don’t know what it looks like, but however it looks, I want it for me and my kids.”

Laurent did have an outstanding warrant she said she was unaware of. She said she and her baby are healthy and that her family plans to pursue a civil case.

Copyright 2023 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox