A 15-second video posted online shows a Pittsburgh woman suffered a beating from a police officer.
The assault occurred Sunday at a gay and lesbian event, Pittsburgh’s Pride in the Street festival.
The video shows Pittsburgh police officer Souroth Chatterji Punching 19 year-old Ariel Lawthler in the stomach several times.
The video begins with Chatterji tossing Lawthler to the ground.
Chatterji described the situation as a “rapidly evolving and tenuous situation,” saying that the young woman first struck him.
Chatterji says Lawthler was involved in an altercation with a group of people protesting the event. When he intervened, he said that Lawthler began pushing him and striking him in the chest and groin area.
“I turned and saw Lawther who still had her hands up in a combative stance and her head lowered, thus I grabbed her hand,” wrote Chatterji in the official report, according to WTAE.
“Thus, to diffuse the situation quickly before I was attacked by the crowd once more, I punched Lawther in the left abdomen several times to distract her enough so I could handcuff her.”
An internal investigation has been launched.
Chatterji affirms that Lawthler apologized after the incident, saying that she was not aware he was a police officer.