Video shows officer throwing woman to the ground in Fort Collins

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) -- A video on Instagram shows a Fort Collins police officer slamming a woman to the ground.

In the video, a woman in a black dress and heels can be seen struggling with an officer before he throws her face down on the pavement outside the Bondi Beach Bar.

The woman has been identified as 22-year-old Michaella Surat. The Fort Collins Police Department said the short video doesn't tell the full story.

According to police, Surat's boyfriend had been involved in a disturbance with another man at bar on Thursday night.

Police said Surat "shoulder-checked a bouncer and an officer" and tried to pull her boyfriend out of the area.

"The officers told her that her boyfriend was not free to leave but that she could go," Sgt. Matt Johnson said.

Johnson said Surat physically obstructed and struck an officer. Johnson said officers used a "standard arrest control" technique to subdue her.

Surat was arrested and booked into the Larimer County Jail on charges of third-degree assault and obstructing a peace officer.

The video had been more than 742,000 times within 24 hours of being posted on Instagram by Barstool Sports.

Fort Collins police chief John Hutto issued a statement.

The arrest of Michaella Surat by Fort Collins Police officers has generated a great deal of interest on social media and conversation in our community. I understand and appreciate why this event has sparked so much interest. The incident was partially captured on cell phone video and was also documented on the body cameras worn by the officers on the scene.

As with most events of this type, the short, publicly-available video does not have the context or content of the full event. Additionally, rarely in use of force situations is there agreement from all the parties involved as to the appropriateness, efficacy, or necessity of its use. These questions are only answered through the analysis of all the evidence after the fact.

I have a duty to preserve and protect the processes that our society has put in place to ensure that the questions surrounding this incident are answered in a fair and impartial manner. I have no control over the video that is already in the public domain, but I do have control over the release of the video evidence from our body worn cameras. This is an open investigation and to release evidence, absent a truly compelling reason, would not be proper. I am committed to preserving a process that ensures a fair and impartial outcome. I am equally committed to preserving the rights of both Ms. Surat and the involved officers.

This event will be thoroughly investigated. The court process will take place and there will be an internal review of the officer's actions from the perspective of policy and procedure. At the conclusion of these investigative processes, the body worn camera video will be made available to the public.

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