A white Vallejo Police Department officer was recorded punching a Black woman in the face after she was involved in a car accident on October 13 in Vallejo, California.
TikTok user Romyr Hamilton was nearby during the arrest and recorded the footage on a cell phone.
The footage was captured by Ofc. Colin Eaton forcibly removed the woman from her vehicle, slammed her into a cement truck and beat her as she lay on the ground near the 100 block of Admiral Callaghan Lane. According to Open Vallejo, the woman was allegedly a shoplifting suspect.
Eaton has been on the force for six years and has a history of violent arrests.
“He hit me in the face.” shouted the woman.
Hamilton shared the video on TikTok and it went viral. “Once she was on the ground, I think the punch was unnecessary.” said Hamilton. “She was just in a car accident. She is still human. She could be hurt.”
The woman and another suspect were reportedly taken to the hospital before being taken to the Solano County Jail. Vallejo police released a statement claiming the woman was a suspected burglar who “attempted to escape” and ran a red light, which they believe caused the collision.
“The officer attempted to push the suspect against the concrete mortar truck, but she resisted and attempted to flee the scene,” the statement said opinion. “The officer conducted a stop to stop them from running. As the suspect lay on the ground, she continued to actively resist, twisting her body and patting the officer’s arm in an attempt to escape, prompting him to strike her once only to immediately give in. That’s how the officer was able to arrest the suspect.”
Vallejo police also shared a picture of the merchandise allegedly found in the crashed vehicle.
Eaton has a history of violent arrests and has been disciplined by the department for use of force. Eaton was on the scene when he and five other officers shot and killed 20-year-old musician Willie McCoy in 2019 when he woke up sleeping in his vehicle. The ex-Marine shot 13 of the 55 bullets in McCoy’s car at the Vallejo Sun.
On April 19, 2020, Eaton violently arrested a man accused of exposing himself. “I’m going to finish you off,” he said said. “Sit down. I’m going to finish you.” Eaton was suspended for 80 hours for violating policy by placing his booted foot on the man’s head for more than a minute after he was handcuffed.
“Her foot on the suspect’s head for nearly a minute and a half after he was restrained violated Vallejo Police Department Policy 300.5 ‘Use of Force,'” the disciplinary report states.
Eaton also arrested 20-year-old Deyana Jenkins, McCoy’s niece, in 2019 and used a stun gun on her, although she claimed she did not resist. Jenkins could be heard screaming as her friend cried, “You caught my sister on the ground! Oh dear God. Deyana, I’m sorry! Help! Someone help! Help!”
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On October 16, California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit against the city of Vallejo and the Vallejo Police Department at Vallejo City Hall, alleging that the department’s officers routinely violate the constitutional rights of its residents.
“I saw the video. It was disturbing and worrying,” Bonta said. “There will be opportunities for investigation, review and oversight – including legal accountability if necessary.”
The city of Vallejo is now under a five-year consent decree that will force the department to implement reforms.