CMPD: Officer punched woman in face during viral video arrest

Video of her violent arrest has gone viral on social media.
Video of her violent arrest has gone viral on social media.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 5:36 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2023 at 9:53 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer punched a woman in the face during an arrest Monday, a police spokeswoman confirmed, in response to what CMPD says was the woman striking him first.

Christina Pierre was arrested by officers, along with her fiancé, around 2:00 p.m. on Monday. CMPD has said the pair were smoking marijuana while waiting for the bus at a stop in the area of South Tryon Street and Arrowood Road in Steel Creek.

RELATED: ‘Not easy to watch’: CMPD responds to viral video of officer striking woman in Steele Creek

Video of Pierre’s violent arrest has gone viral on social media. It shows an officer delivering more than a dozen strikes to Pierre’s knee and legs.

Late Wednesday, CMPD confirmed the punch after questions from WBTV.

The department’s full statement regarding the situation was released Thursday and can be read below:

Pierre’s attorney, Lauren Newton, released pictures showing a large bruise on Pierre’s left cheek. On Wednesday, Newton told Chief Investigative Reporter Nick Ochsner that she had spoken with an eyewitness who said she saw the first officer on-scene punch Pierre in the face.

“What we know from a witness, a witness that was there on scene, a white woman who’s seen in the video, is that the first officer cold-cocked Miss Pierre,” Newton said.

RELATED: Attorney: Eyewitness saw CMPD officer punch woman in face during arrest

At a press conference held Wednesday morning, CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings said he could not explain how Pierre’s face was injured but did not rule out that she was punched or that it was injured while she was on the ground.

“There’s a couple of different thoughts out there from watching the body-worn camera. There’s nothing that’s very clear and visible, whether an officer struck her,” Jennings said about those injuries.

Newton said Pierre is just starting to heal from the ordeal.