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Video shows Baltimore County officers throw 76-year-old woman to ground during arrest; chief calls it ‘unsettling’

Baltimore County police are investigating why officers threw a 76-year-old woman to the ground during an arrest, Chief Melissa Hyatt said Tuesday.

Cellphone video footage obtained by WBAL-TV showed the Friday afternoon arrest of Rena Mellerson at her Gwynn Oak home. The footage shows an officer in the doorway as he pulls Mellerson out of her house. Seconds later, another officer runs into the frame and tosses Mellerson to the ground.

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Hyatt in a statement said the video has “garnered public attention and concern.” She’s ordered “a thorough investigation” of the incident, she said.

“The video is unsettling to watch and raises concerns,” Hyatt said.

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Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. echoed Hyatt’s concerns, and said in a statement he spoke with the chief about the investigation.

“Every resident of the Baltimore County community deserves to be treated with respect by law enforcement. This video raises serious concerns and warrants a full and thorough investigation,” Olszewski said.

Part of the investigation will include a review of the body-worn camera footage of the entire incident, Hyatt said, along with interviews and a review of other documentation. The body-worn camera footage will be released after the “expedited investigation” is completed, she said.

“I thank the individual who taped the incident — our residents are important partners in our communities,” Hyatt said in a statement. “We hold our officers to a high standard of accountability. Maintaining the trust of those who live, work and visit Baltimore County is paramount as we continue to work together to keep communities safe.”

Police said Mellerson was not seriously hurt, and was charged with assault, interfering with an arrest and obstructing and hindering. Police went to the home looking for Mellerson’s granddaughter, Cierra Floyd, after a traffic stop earlier in the day.

Mellerson did not respond to phone calls and messages Tuesday.

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