Black woman says she was allegedly attacked by police and unlawfully handcuffed

FAYETTEVILLE, NC– Police in Fayetteville, North Carolina, are investigating an incident involving a 22-year-old black woman after she said officers assaulted and unlawfully handcuffed her in September.

Ja’Lana Dunlap’s attorneys released video footage of the incident this week, captured with Dunlap’s cell phone.

On September 6, Dunlap, a then-property manager, said she was taking photos of the property she oversees on behalf of the owner, who recently received a subpoena from the city for illegally dumping furniture and trash on the property.

“I was planning on taking pictures because we already hired someone to clean it up,” Dunlap told ABC News. “So I just made sure they did their job.”

After taking the photos, Dunlap said she was returning to her car when two Fayetteville police officers looking for a suspected fugitive approached and asked why she was at the property. Dunlap said she responded, giving her name and explaining that she was taking photos for her boss.

Dunlap said an officer asked her to identify herself. She said she declined, knowing North Carolina is not a “stop and identify” state, meaning Dunlap was not required by law to produce her ID unless she had committed a crime or was suspected of a crime.

“I know my story is true,” Dunlap said. “I know if I hadn’t done anything wrong I wouldn’t have to give you my ID.”

But Dunlap said the officer continued to demand that she show her ID, after which Dunlap began recording the encounter on her phone because she said she feared for her safety.

Shortly after, she said another officer reached into the vehicle and grabbed her left arm. On the video recording, Dunlap can be heard repeatedly telling the officers: “Please stop.”

The officers tell her to get out of the vehicle, and when she doesn’t, tell her to “stop resisting.” Dunlap tells the officer that if they let go of her arm, she will exit the vehicle.

Cell phone video she released does not show the start of the encounter and becomes shaky when it is revealed police are pulling her out. Afterward, they pull her out – which is not shown in the video because officers took her phone – and Dunlap claims officers slammed her against the trunk and handcuffed her.

Dunlap, who suffers from sickle cell anemia, said she began hyperventilating from the stress and even vomited at one point.

“They actually tried to pull me back up with the handcuffs behind my back, to the point where I had to be like, ‘Everyone please stop so I can throw up,'” she said.

Officers eventually removed the fluorescent fanny pack from around Dunlap’s waist to retrieve her ID, she said, and released her after verifying her identity.

She said her left hand was injured and swollen for a week after the incident and still has visible scratches.

Copyright © 2022 ABC, Inc. Black woman says she was allegedly attacked by police and unlawfully handcuffed

Russell Falcon

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