Arrest video in Lynchburg stirs up concerns on use of force

Police arrest Stacey Miller, Stephanie Williams, charges include assault officer

By Magdala Louissaint - Lynchburg Bureau Reporter

LYNCHBURG, Va. - A video posted on Facebook has everyone who lives on Filmore Street in Lynchburg and social media talking.

"I came out the house. I was like I don't have my phone. Everybody was recording," said one neighbor who didn't want to be identified.

In the video you see a woman lying on the ground while police hover around her. But there was another incident that led up to that. Nicholas Bailey was walking to the store when he saw the couple.

"I was there when I saw them arguing. Next thing I know I see three police cars pull up," Bailey said.
 And that's when neighbors said things got out of control.

Lynchburg police say an officer was on patrol around 7 p.m. when the officer heard a loud noise like glass breaking. The officer got out to investigate. Police say they tried to arrest Stacey Miller and that's when Stephanie Williams interfered. 

Officers tried to get Williams back, but police say she was fighting them.

"She started fighting some of the officers. I think that's when they tased her," said the unidentified neighbor.     

Police say they did stun Williams with  a taser and put a spit mask on her because she was trying to  spit on them. 

A witness named Anthony said "She was butting her head on the ground and all that stuff. He had tased her. They picked up her and moved to the grass so she wouldn't keep bumping her head on the sidewalk."

Some say police took the restraint too far. 

"The couple got aggressive towards officers, but the officers shouldn't have laid hands on her, the female, the way they did. They didn't have a female officer," 

Lynchburg police tell 10 News they watched the online video and their body camera footage. After a preliminary investigation, officers believe they acted within policy.

As protocol, Lynchburg say they will do a full internal investigation on the use of force. The pair is facing a long list of charges.

Miller is currently charged with two counts destruction of property, three counts of obstruction of justice and projecting a missile into an occupied dwelling. 

Williams is currently facing multiple counts for assault and battery on a police officer and obstruction of justice. 

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