A community in Kansas City, Missouri is searching for answers after a police officer, who kneeled on the back of a pregnant Black woman, is still active on the job.
According to published reports, on Sept. 30 police were responding to the scene outside of a local gas station after a security guard called in claiming a fight had broken out in the parking lot. During the call, the guard reportedly said there were “15-20 individuals fighting on the business’s property,”–but it wasn’t.
CNN reports that the gathering was actually a gathering of Black activists who were releasing balloons for a fellow freedom fighter who became a victim of violence. When police arrived on the scene, they allege that pregnant 25-year-old, Deja Stallings, tried to prevent authorities from arresting a local activist named Troy Robertson, who organized the event, by grabbing an officer and trying to pull Robertson away from them.
It was at this point that video captures an officer arresting Stallings and while she is on the ground and visibility pregnant, he began kneeling on her back while she laid face down on the ground as he yells at onlookers yelling out in protest to “stand back.”
Stallings’ attorney, Stacy Shaw, told the Atlantic Star, that her nine-months-pregnant client went to a hospital after the arrest and has needed medical care on and off since. Stallings has been issued a municipal summons for hindering an arrest.
After the video of the horrific arrest went viral, many local activists spoke out about the incident, including president of the Kansas City NAACP chapter, Rev. Rodney Williams, who called the incident a “double assault on humanity.”
“This cannot and will not be dismissed, this double assault on humanity,” Rev. Williams told NBC 12.
“The most recent act of brutality of a pregnant woman, an unborn child, is yet another example of the culture of brutality, callousness, and disregard for the citizens of our community,” Kevin Woolfolk of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference told reporters.
Currently, activists are calling for the Kansas City Police Department to be defunded by 50%, with the current and future funding being redirected to programs that will enhance the Black community.