On cam: FMPD officer slams woman to the ground; some say it’s justified

Published: September 7, 2021 5:35 PM EDT
Updated: September 8, 2021 9:19 AM EDT

Fort Myers police recently broke up a fight by body-slamming a woman to the ground.

The use of force was caught on camera by a witness. That recording is circulating online and shows the chaotic scene outside of a bar.

Fort Myers Police Department responded to the video circulating on social media Tuesday, saying safety is its top priority.

Two minutes and five seconds of a street fight were recorded

“You can’t let people beat each other to death,” said David Thomas, an FGCU professor and retired law enforcement officer.

The video shows women fighting for about 50 seconds and people trying to break it up.

Then, Fort Myers police officers show up, and an officer steps in and takes one of the women to the ground.

“The force was reasonable,” Thomas said.

“I think the officer was appropriate in what he did,” said Councilman Johnny Streets, a retired law enforcement officer.

“He doesn’t stay on top of her,” Thomas said. “He’s trying to separate her, and he goes back to assist the other officers that are trying to separate the other ladies that are still fighting.”

Streets told us he understands people reacting to the video, but he thinks things could have turned out a lot worse.

“He could have used a taser; he could have made a mistake and used his weapon,” Streets said.

The police department told us no one complained of any injuries or asked to be seen by medics.

“We need to look at the whole story,” said. “But right now, let’s not try to find fault unless we fault the people that started the fight.”

In a statement from the public information officer, “The Fort Myers Police Department understands the community concerns about the video of an officer breaking up an aggressive fight in Downtown on Saturday night. The incident is currently under review.”

Three people involved in the incident facing misdemeanor charges for breach of peace.

We were still waiting for body camera footage to be released Tuesday.