A Texas police officer was following protocol Tuesday when he was caught on video throwing a drunk woman to the ground, knocking her unconscious, his police chief said.
On cell phone video, a witness captured Round Rock Officer Ben Johnson slamming the woman to the ground in front of her 6-year-old daughter in a strip mall parking lot. Viviana Keith, who was allegedly resisting arrest, hit her head on the pavement and was knocked out, KVUE reported Thursday.
Keith's mother and some witnesses to the incident have accused Johnson of using excessive force. But according to KVUE, Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks said the officer did everything right -- not only because Keith was resisting arrest, but because she'd been driving around with her daughter while clearly drunk.
"She was very combative, very argumentative and also very intoxicated," Banks said.
Witnesses had called police several times after Keith walked into Deluxe Nails at the strip mall, acting erratically.
In the video (above), Johnson says he'd received several calls about Keith and notes that she's "intoxicated." As he arrests her on suspicion of DWI and tries to push her onto the hood of his patrol car, she appears to struggle. That's when he turns and throws her to the ground.
The officer also reportedly flipped Keith over to check her pulse. Witnesses said Keith's daughter cried, "Mommy! Mommy!" as her mother was lying on the ground.
Keith was charged with police interference and DWI with a child younger than 15, and is expected back in court on May 21, according to the New York Daily News. Police are conducting an internal investigation into the use of force by Johnson, who's a four-year veteran at the department.
The Round Rock incident comes at a time of increased public scrutiny of officers' use of force. Most recently, a video showing a U.S. marshal destroying a bystander's phone as the bystander was recording law enforcement sparked a national outcry and another internal investigation.