Police investigate use of force after officer punches woman during arrest at Miami Hurricanes game

MIAMI (AP/WSVN) — Miami-Dade Police are investigating after video taken during Saturday’s Miami Hurricanes game showed an officer punching a woman after she slapped him.

Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said in an email Sunday that Bridget Freitas, a 30-year-old nurse, has been charged with felony battery on a police officer and misdemeanor disorderly conduct. He said the department is reviewing the video to make sure proper procedures were followed in the altercation at Hard Rock Stadium during Miami’s win Saturday over Virginia Tech.

According to the arrest report, Freitas had been arguing with other fans and was “using profanity in a loud, boisterous manner” when officers arrived. They say they tried to calm her down and asked her to move to the concourse, but she refused and sat on the steps.

In the 14-second video posted on Twitter, four uniformed officers pick up Freitas, who was wearing a green and orange Miami jersey. Three carry her up the steps, with one officer hoisting her torso with his arms under her shoulders and the other two carrying her legs.

With her eyes half-closed, Freitas flails with her open hand at Detective Douglas Ross, who is carrying her right leg. She misses the back of his head, but nails him in the face with her backhand.

Ross immediately reacts, hitting her in the head with his right fist, causing her to crumble in the officers’ arms as she is carried out of view of the camera.

Miami-Dade Police issued a statement in response to the video, which quickly spread on social media:

Promoting a safe and secure environment during any special event is our primary concern. After responding to a disturbance, the person in the video was being removed from the event by our officers for being disorderly. She was subsequently arrested for Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer and Disorderly Conduct/Breach of the peace. Supervisory personnel are aware of the video and are reviewing the incident to ensure compliance with our policies and procedures.

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