US: 19-year-old faces hearing after resisting ‘violent’ police arrest at Pride

Aaron Day October 22, 2014
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A 19-year-old charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting a “violent” arrest during Pittsburgh Pride is to face a hearing today.

Police officer Souroth Chatterji was suspended from active duty in June after a short clip surfaced online of him making an arrest at Pittsburgh PrideFest.

The footage appeared to show him grabbing 19-year-old Ariel Lawther – who was wearing rainbow clothing – by the head and punching her, before restraining her in front of the crowd.

However, city officials have since claimed the officer did not use excessive force when arresting Lawther.

Police trade union attorney Bryan Campbell had claimed that the footage did not show the full events, and that “everything he did is consistent with his training and with what police officers are permitted to do when met with resistance.”

Chatterji claimed that Lawther “struck him repeatedly” before the arrest shown in the clip, adding: “I punched Lawther in the left abdomen several times to distract her enough so I could handcuff her”.

Lawther has also been accused of assaulting a protester at the event.

Wednesday’s preliminary hearing will determine whether she must stand trial.

Watch the initial clip below:

More: Americas, Anti-gay, Assault, battery, pittsburgh, Pride, US, US

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