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West Virginia police referring disabled woman’s forceful arrest to FBI

Credit: WSAZ
Credit: WSAZ(WHSV)
Published: Nov. 14, 2019 at 3:53 PM EST
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A West Virginia mayor says federal authorities are being asked to look into the use of force by Charleston police during the arrest of a woman with special needs.

Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin said in a statement Thursday that following a series of meetings with community groups, Police Chief Opie Smith has referred the incident to the FBI.

Cellphone video shows 27-year-old Freda Gilmore lying on the ground and being repeatedly punched in the head Oct. 14 by Charleston police Officer Joshua Mena during her arrest. Gilmore's family has said she has special needs.

Smith has said the use of force complied with department policy. Goodwin has said she supports Smith's decision to keep Mena and another officer on the job but the policy needs to be updated.

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Nov. 6

About 30 clergy members have asked a West Virginia city to order an independent investigation into the

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the pastors demanded the probe Tuesday at a public meeting on police policy. Cellphone video shows 27-year-old Freda Gilmore laying on the ground and being repeatedly punched in the head by Charleston police Officer Joshua Mena during her arrest last month. Gilmore's family says she has special needs.

Chief Opie Smith has said the use of force complied with department policy. A statement by Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin says she supports Smith's decision to keep Mena and another officer on the job, but the policy needs to be updated. She said she would respond to the probe request within 10 days.

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