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US cop punches woman in the face
Wed, 27 Apr 2011 21:44:20 GMT
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An off-duty Atlanta officer slugged a woman during a brawl at a restaurant on Sunday.
A shocking video has emerged showing an off-duty Atlanta officer punching a woman in the face, an incident that has triggered outrage amid rampant police brutality across the US.

The video, which was shot on Sunday at a restaurant in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood in the US state of Georgia, shows a confrontation between police officers and a group of women, followed by a violent scuffle between two cops and one of the women identified as Cynthia Freeman, the New York Daily News reported.

The woman can be seen placing her hand on the officer and trying to convince him that she did not do anything wrong. Shortly after she began to assault him, the officer punched the woman in the face and then attempted to arrest her.

The cause of the incident is still unknown, but a woman who was in the scuffle with the officer, has told Atlanta's WSBTV television that she and her friends were having coffee when an officer told them to quiet down.

Four women were arrested in the violence and Freeman herself has sustained injuries. Atlanta Attorney Bobby Aniekwu says he is representing three of the women in what he considers a case of "excessive force."

"The matter has been referred to our Office of Professional Standards to determine whether department policies and procedures were followed. Further comment at this time would not be appropriate," the Atlanta Police Department said in a statement.

The United States has already been under fire over what observers call an alarming rise in police brutality across the country, namely in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and New Orleans. The rights group Amnesty International has documented systematic patterns of police abuse against Americans especially ethnic minorities.

In October last year, the United Nations Human Rights CounciL released a report expressing serious concerns over human rights abuses in the US.

The report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights cast a harsh spotlight on human rights violations and concerns regarding torture, police brutality, and wide-ranging discriminations that the US government has neglected to properly address.

The Justice Department report on March about the New Orleans police department showed cops out of control, with many charges of excessive force, discrimination against and singling out black people for arrest and harassment, failure by police to investigate crimes and covering up crimes of fellow officers.

HA/MGH
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