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Colorado Police Body Slam Woman in 'Standard Arrest Technique'

by Tim Stelloh and Becky Bratu /
A screen shot of a video posted online shows an interaction between 22 year-old Colorado State junior Michaella Surat and police.

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Video posted Saturday of a Colorado police officer body slamming a 22-year-old woman shows a “standard arrest technique,” a police spokeswoman said.

The woman, Michaella Surat, assaulted the Fort Collins officer before he subdued her, the spokeswoman, Kate Kimble, said in a statement.

A nine-second video of the incident, which occurred Thursday at a bar, according to NBC affiliate KUSA, shows the unidentified officer seemingly trying to restrain Surat. As she takes a few steps back, he flips her face-first onto the brick ground.

Surat did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kimble said the police were called about a disturbance involving Surat’s boyfriend. As the officers gathered information, Kimble said, Surat “shoulder-checked” one of them, along with a bouncer.

Surat then tried to leave the area with her boyfriend, Kimble said. When the police said he wasn’t free to go, she “physically obstructed and struck” the officer.

Surat was charged with third-degree assault and obstruction, Kimble said.

In a statement Sunday, Fort Collins' police chief John Hutto said the footage, which had been viewed more than 750,000 times on Instagram, was incomplete and lacked context.

Police-worn body cameras also captured the event, he said, though that footage will only be released after an internal review and criminal proceedings.

"I have a duty to preserve and protect the processes that our society has put in place to ensure that the questions surrounding this incident are answered in a fair and impartial manner," he said. "I have no control over the video that is already in the public domain, but I do have control over the release of the video evidence from our body worn cameras."

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