If you drive west on Interstate 94 from Ann Arbor and then south on I-69, you will come to Coldwater, Michigan, after about 90 minutes. The police department there in the town of about 11,000 is evidence that not everything officers say or do is true or honest or accurate. We certainly do not mean to disparage all cops for what happened in Coldwater, but if you watch the video what an officer did to a woman under arrest there, you will be appalled.
The Coldwater police department is facing a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by the 31-year-old woman seen in the video. She says excessive force was used during her arrest and that officers then lied about the violent incident which left her bloodied, battered and with a concussion.
When the video begins, you can see an officer bringing Tiffany McNeil into the jail. She is handcuffed and being led by the officer after her arrest on a domestic violence charge. The video is clear; it’s obvious to viewers that she was not physically resisting arrest or in any way trying to harm the officer.
After a couple of minutes of standing next to the wall, the officer leans into the woman, pressing her into the concrete face-first. Five other cops can be seen standing within a few feet. He suddenly spins the woman and slams her into the concrete floor, again face-first, knocking her unconscious.
She lays there unmoving, until officers turn her over. A pool of blood can be seen on the floor.
She was eventually taken to the hospital. Seventeen stitches were needed to close the gash over her left eye.
Officers later claimed the woman was resisting arrest when she fell on her own and sustained her injuries. It’s unclear why they lied when they surely knew that the jail entrance was under video surveillance.
We do not know what will happen with her lawsuit, but we do know that the video provides undeniable evidence that police do sometimes overreact and sometimes do fail to tell the truth about arrests, suspects and crimes.