Ohio police sergeant on leave after video shows him punching black woman during arrest

An Ohio police sergeant has been placed on paid leave after video emerged of him repeatedly punching a black woman in the head while arresting her outside a McDonald’s in Butler Township, police said.

The video shows two police officers, identified as Sgt. Todd Stanley and Officer Tim Zellers, struggle with a woman. Zellers apparently holds a Taser up to the face of the woman, identified as Laticka Hancock, when Stanley hits her three times.

A screenshot from video showing Butler Township officers Sgt.  Tim Zellers, left, and Todd Stanley, right, restrain and arrest Laticka Hancock outside a McDonald's restaurant in Butler Township, Ohio, Monday, Jan. 16, 2023.
A screenshot from video showing Butler Township officers Sgt. Tim Zellers, left, and Todd Stanley, right, restrain and arrest Laticka Hancock outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Butler Township, Ohio, Monday, Jan. 16, 2023. Officers said Hancock resisted arrest, and video shows Stanley punching Hancock.

Mario Robinson / Local News X/TMX via AP


Attorney Michael Wright, who represents Hancock, said during a press conference Wednesday that she ordered McDonald’s and realized the order was missing cheese for which she paid extra, so she went back to the restaurant to have the order corrected. Wright said the McDonald’s cook asked Hancock to pay an extra 30 cents for the supplement when she produced a receipt to prove her order was incorrect.

The manager told Hancock to leave the store, Wright said, and for the police to be called. He said Hancock waited in the McDonald’s parking lot for police to arrive so she could tell them her version of events.

Wright said Stanley and Zellers arrived at the scene and asked Hancock for her ID.

“This should not have happened,” Wright said. “These officers were completely out of bounds.”

Dayton Unit NAACP President Derrick Foward, who joined Wright and Hancock during their press conference, said a Taser was also held up to her face. He called for Stanley to be fired and Zellers to be suspended.

Butler Township Police Chief Jim Porter said in a briefing that Stanley was placed on leave after public backlash from the incident so that “we [Butler Township Police Department] able to complete this with as little distraction as possible.”

Zellers has not been placed on leave, Porter said.

See the following update on the ongoing investigation.

Posted by Butler Township Police on Friday 20 January 2023

“I don’t want people to feel like I’m complaining for a piece of cheese,” Hancock said. “The message behind everything is misunderstood.”

Butler Township police said the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the FBI and the US Attorney General’s Office are all investigating the incident.


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