A video posted to social media Saturday — and since viewed more than 3.6 million times — shows three Wildwood police officers on the beach, attempting to detain a woman later identified in a police statement as Emily Weinman, 20, of Philadelphia.
As the video begins, Weinman is on the ground, with one officer on top of her. She kicks at another, knocking aside a beach chair. The first officer than proceeds to hit her in the head twice with his fist, before grabbing her by the shoulders and pinning her to the ground.
As the second officer holds her legs steady, a third approaches to control the gathering crowd. The first two officers then attempt to handcuff Weinman.
A child can be heard crying in the background. Someone is heard repeatedly saying, “stop resisting.”
“You’re not allowed to hit me and choke me like that,” Weinman shouts. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
The video shows the altercation already underway, with no indication of how it began. It ends before police have clearly detained Weinman.
Police launch internal investigation
An internal investigation has been launched into the officers’ conduct, according to a statement issued Sunday by the Wildwood Police Department. In the meantime, the officers involved in the incident have been reassigned to administrative duty.
According to the statement, Weinman was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, aggravated assault by spitting at a police officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obstruction and with being a minor in possession of alcohol.
Weinman could not immediately be reached for comment.
In a Facebook post written over the weekend, and since taken down, Weinman said she had unopened alcohol with her when she was stopped by police while visiting the beach with her daughter, her daughter’s father, and a friend. Weinman said she passed the breathalyzer test police administered after asking for her age.
According to the post, an officer followed her after the encounter. “I asked them don’t they have something better to do as cops than to stop people for underage drinking on the beach,” she wrote. “The cop said, ‘I was gonna let you go but now I’ll write you up.’ ”
The officer asked Weinman for her name, which she refused to give, according to the post. She said the officer then informed her he was arresting her. “I tripped and fell and the cop tackled me to the ground and smashed my head into the sand,” she wrote. “At that point I blacked out and fought any way possible trying to get up and push him off me.”
“Yes, I know I should’ve gave him my name,” she continued. “I was partly wrong in a way but I was scared.”