Pastors want probe into forceful arrest of disabled woman

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — About 30 clergy members have asked a West Virginia city to order an independent investigation into the arrest of a woman with special needs.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports 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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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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