Teen speaks out after viral video of arrest

ASHEVILLE, NC (WSPA) – A viral video shows an Asheville teen being shoved by a police officer. It happened Monday at the Hillcrest Apartments in Asheville.

The video shows an Asheville Police officer running after the teen and grabbing her arms. It shows his arms outstretched and 16-year-old KaCee Fleming falling backwards, hitting the ground.

“I literally had to (gasp)…My back hurts, my head hurts from hitting it on the concrete, and of course this big ol’ bruise on my arm,” Fleming said regarding injuries she sustained.

The encounter happened on Fleming’s 16th birthday.

Police said they had a warrant for Fleming’s brother’s arrest.

Fleming said her brother has been sick lately, so when she saw them trying to arrest him, she went to see if he was ok.

“It just made me feel belittled as a person,” Fleming said. “I felt like, at that moment, they treated me with no respect.”

The police report said Fleming struck Officer Shalin Oza while he was attempting to arrest her. It also said she stepped on his feet while he was trying to bring her “under his control.”

Police charged Fleming with two misdemeanors of assaulting a government employee and resisting a public officer.

However, neighbors who witnessed the event said that’s not what they saw.

Travus Jones/saw the altercation

That should have never happened,” said neighbor, Travus Jones.  “It’s uncalled for. It’s unnecessary…He should have never put his hands on her. That was brutality.”

The Asheville Police Department provided the below statement to 7News:

“The Asheville Police Department has viewed the video circulating on social media regarding the arrest of a 16-year-old female on the evening of September 5, 2016. The nine second video is only a small portion of a much longer incident. The Asheville Police Department is in the process of conducting a full administrative investigation that will review all evidence, including the video circulating on social media and body worn camera footage, in our review. The Asheville Police Department is dedicated to providing the best possible police service and upon completion of the review will take appropriate action, if deemed necessary.

Anyone with additional video footage or information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact our Professional Standards Office at (828) 259-5907.”

Neighbors said they want to see justice and to feel safe in their community.

“Whether she’s in the right or the wrong, that’s not how you go about arresting somebody,” another neighbor, Lauren, said. “You don’t grab them and sling them and throw them on the ground.”

Fleming said the encounter made her 16th birthday memorable for the wrong reasons.

“It ruined my birthday,” Fleming said. “That’s all I can say. It ruined my birthday. I definitely won’t forget that.”

7News asked the Asheville Police Department if they would be releasing the body camera video from that night.

The department responded, “Per the Asheville Police Department’s Body Worn Camera policy we will allow the subjects of the body camera footage to view it in its entirety. Chief Hooper will continue to explore options to allow others to view the video prior to October 1st. After October 1st House Bill 972 comes into effect and the release of any BWC footage outside of law enforcement agencies or the District Attorney’s Office requires a court order.”

The family said they do have plans to view the footage.

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