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Police release body-cam video of 76-year-old woman’s arrest

TOWSON — Footage from a police officer’s body-worn camera released Tuesday shows he used pepper spray, deployed a stun gun and pulled his service weapon as he tried to get a 76-year-old woman out of the way to arrest her granddaughter earlier this month at a home in a Baltimore suburb.

The Jan. 10 police response at the home in Pikesville came under investigation after a TV station obtained cellphone video showing an officer with the Baltimore County Police Department throwing the woman to the ground. The approximately 9-minute-long video from the camera of the officer who pulled the gun shows his fellow officer grabbing the woman and slamming her to the ground.

Both officers are white. The woman thrown to the ground, Rena Mellerson, is black. So is her granddaughter, Cierra Floyd.

In a statement after the video was released, Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said her department is obligated to “treat all citizens respectfully and impartially” and she must “ensure an objective and thorough investigation is completed.”

The Baltimore Sun reported the officer wearing the camera went to the home to arrest Floyd in relation to a disturbance involving a child earlier in the day at a different location.

Footage from the officer’s camera shows him arriving at the home, knocking on the door and then telling a woman that she is under arrest for disorderly conduct.

Mellerson briefly argues over the stun gun with the officer, who then yells at Floyd that she is under arrest. After a heated exchange, the door is then slammed and the officer’s foot gets stuck. He deploys his stun gun, sprays pepper spray through the door’s narrow opening and points his gun at the door before it is opened.

The officer then pulls the woman from her home, and another officer throws her to the ground. Floyd eventually walks out of the house and is handcuffed.

Court records show Mellerson was charged with second-degree assault, interfering with arrest and obstructing and hindering. Floyd faces the same charges, as well as disorderly conduct.

Mellerson said during a press conference with the family’s attorney on Jan. 15 that she was “in pain.” Attorney J. Wyndal Gordon said that what happened to the family is “unacceptable” and the police conduct was “highly questionable.”

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