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Police release body camera video: Woman's arrest at bar fight sparks use of force probe

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By ANNA COMMANDER and LULI ORTIZ, WPEC

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WPEC) - West Palm Beach Police launched a use of force investigation after controversial video surfaced of a woman's arrest at a downtown restaurant and bar.

Warning: explicit language. This footage has not been edited by WPEC.

According to the West Palm Beach Police Department, officers responded to Banko Cantina, 114 S. Olive Ave. in response to a large fight in a stairwell on Sunday.

A responding officer arrived at the scene and saw Shannon Chatman, 25, attempting to intervene during the fight. The report said Chatman then pushed an officer in the face.

The officer wrote in the police report, "I grabbed the defendant by the hair, and took the defendant to the ground, and ordered her to roll over onto her stomach."

In a video posted to Facebook by Jeano Junior, Chatman stands up again, and the officer grabs her by her hair for the second time.

According to the report, Chatman's boyfriend got in between the officer and Chatman to keep her from being arrested.

Chatman walked away from the officer as her boyfriend and another man attempted to block the officer from seeing her.

Police eventually placed Chatman in handcuffs and charged her with aggravated battery and resisting an officer with violence.

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Officers also asked Amandi Fountain, 31, to leave Banko Cantina and go outside during the fight. Fountain aggressively yelled back, "Make me f***ing leave," then punched an officer, according to the report.

Body-camera footage shows the officer hitting her in the jaw, and shoving her back because Fountain continued to attack him.

The officer successfully placed handcuffs on Fountain when backup arrived. The report says the officer sustained a small cut on his chin, cuts on his hand, and a ripped shirt.

Fountain is facing charges of battery and resisting an officer. She is listed as a teacher on the police report.

Another officer’s body-camera footage shows a third officer holding a man who appears to try to get a hold of Fountain.

The officer uses a Taser, but the man’s shirt kept the Taser from working. He is later seen holding the man on a headlock. When the man falls to the ground, the cop drags him outside towards the cars.

The unidentified man was not arrested but was given the notice to appear.

Sgt. David Lefront said the video is being investigated.

“We are reviewing it as a use of force, we will continue to do that once the investigation is complete,” said Lefront.

The police department also released a statement regarding the fight:

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"All use of force incidents are fully reviewed, which is why we are gathering information. We know the public wants to know more about what happened, so we are moving quickly to gather all of the facts. We will provide that information as soon as we obtain it."

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