Over Some Cheese? Unsettling Video Shows Ohio Police Officer Punching Black Woman in Face

Over Some Cheese? Unsettling Video Shows Ohio Police Officer Punching Black Woman in Face

Something as simple as extra cheese shouldn’t lead to assault. A video posted on the Dayton 24/7 Facebook page shows a police officer hitting a Black woman in an Ohio McDonald’s parking lot.

The video shows a witness’ viewpoint of Latinka Hancock being punched in the face three times, and handcuffed by Butler Township police officers Todd Stanley and Tim Zellers. The Dayton Daily News reported Stanley and Zellers were called to the local fast food restaurant due to a disorderly customer complaint. When both officers arrived, Hancock was allegedly sitting in her car and told officers she had received her money back. Police reports claimed body camera footage will show Hancock explaining the situation. She said she asked for extra cheese on her hamburger and when she didn’t receive it, she got upset.

Things escalated after they told her a trespassing report was being filed. The officers then asked Hancock for her drivers license, which she refused to provide, and Sellers claimed her breath reeked of alcohol. While they were talking, Hancock was seen attempting to push them away. In the video, one officer appears to point a stun gun at Hancock, while the other holds her arm and shoulder. Seemingly, her arms got loose and she waved her hands in the air. That’s when Stanley assaulted Hancock with blows to the face and Zellers arrested her.

Since the video has gone viral, Butler Township Police Chief John Porter held a press conference. The Daily Beast says Stanley has been placed on paid administrative leave while the department investigates. Porter also claimed the department had received an abundance of hate mail and messages. Trying to calm the questions of the appropriateness of force, Porter explained how officers are trained to use force “for personal protection,” and showed a diagram of acceptable police responses.

Lawyers representing Hancock feel the incident shouldn’t have happened in the first place. “McDonald’s should be ashamed in resorting to calling the police over a disagreement for an order they got wrong,” attorney Michael Wright said. “If they can’t manage basic customer service and now opting to potentially put a person’s life in jeopardy over a mishandled Big Mac, it doesn’t seem safe for Black people to go and eat at McDonald’s anymore.”
Although Hancock has received minimal charges – failure to show identification and resisting arrest – Wright is still calling for Stanley to be fired. “Sgt. Stanley deserves to be fired and charged with assault with his outrageous overreaction,” Wright continued. “The way he handled Ms. Hancock was despicable. He wasn’t humane to her. Punching her in the face is absolutely ridiculous.”