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Several Alabama police officers are being investigated after they were caught on camera handcuffing an innocent black woman and leaving her on the floor of a Walmart for half an hour.
Brenda Rivers and her husband were stopped by police who were investigating the theft of a wallet. The police had already stopped another woman and asked to look through her purse for the wallet but did not find anything there. They asked to do the same with Rivers, but she did not want to give the officers her purse, since they had no warrant. The officers then detained her after they claimed that she tried to leave the scene.
Jasmine Thomas, who filmed the incident, was among the crowd of shoppers who gathered to shout their support for Rivers even as she lay handcuffed on the floor while police argued with Rivers’ husband. Several witnesses in the crowd pointed out to the officers that the victim had already said that Rivers did not look like the person who snatched her wallet.
“The lady was here, she told the officer right here that it wasn’t her,” says the woman whose purse had been searched prior to the officers stopping Rivers in the video.
“The witness told him before they arrested her that it wasn’t her, I will go to court for her,” another witness chimes in.
“She said it wasn’t me,” Rivers yells from the floor repeatedly before one of the officers tells her that she is being arrested for “failure to comply.”
“Your officer walked over to the victim and asked her, before you even apprehended [Rivers], and she said no. That is wrong, oh my God, that is wrong,” the first woman who was searched later says in the video as the police continue to accuse Rivers of interfering with and impeding their investigation.
When the victim finally arrives, it is with an officer who appears to be a sergeant as she tells the officer, “I did tell them, its not her.”
Rivers’ husband then approaches the sergeant to ask why this is being allowed to happen, at one point saying, “[The officer] didn’t ask for no ID, he didn’t ask for nothing, he just assumed she was the one that took the lady’s purse. We didn’t know what he was talking about. I thought he was joking.”
Toward the end of the video, the handcuffs are finally taken off of Rivers, and her purse is returned to her.