On April 12, 2015, my cousin Bajram, my sister Liri and I were pulled over by WPPD for no obviously apparent reason. We all had our seatbelts on and my cousin was driving the speed limit and made sure to signal before turning left and getting pulled over. Almost immediately, about 7 officers began surrounding the car. The officer on the driver’s side started rudely screaming for our documents, followed by Bajram asking him “Sir, may I ask what I am being pulled over for?” He refused to tell us what we were getting pulled over for and when we told him that it was OUR RIGHT to know, he replied with “FUCK YOUR RIGHTS!” At that point I started recording the incident on my cell phone (and Bajram’s phone) as the police officer reached into the opening of the driver’s side window and unlocked and opened the car door. After he already forcefully unlocked and opened the door, he asked Bajram to get out of the car to which Bajram responds “Can I please be treated like a human being?” From there, the officer eventually forces Bajram out of the car- punching and grabbing him- and throws him on to the floor, where 6 other officers start to punch, kick and stop him. Right after this particular video ends, the officer reaches back into the car and punches me in the lip. At this point, I was terrified for our lives, so I closed and locked the doors and opened my window to ask the officers on my side of the car what was going on. I was told that I have no right to know and that I was also under arrest and should step out of the car. Actually, the words were “Get out of the car bitch, before I tase you!” (As a Taser gun was pointed at my face through the opening in my window) I put my hands up and told them I was complying as I opened the door and stepped out. Immediately, they slammed me against the fence and told me to stop resisting. They were pushing me and roughing me up and in this process they tore the ligaments in my shoulder. As soon as I was out of the car, another officer grabbed my phone and Bajrams. I screamed for them to put our phones down and stop tampering with evidence and that I was a female and shouldn’t have been hit or roughed up by males like that. It was then that I saw officers still punching Bajram in the face, even though he was already cuffed and in the cop car.
They put me in a separate car and brought us both to the station. On the way, they were trying to crack the code on my cell phone as I screamed, again, for them to stop tampering with evidence. At the station, they were laughing and making fun of us while trying to get into our phones for hours to see the videos. They also took my sister’s phone (even though she wasn’t arrested) and held it until about 2 weeks ago. That’s what this video is from. They still have my phone and my cousin’s phone (which I know have way better footage) over a month later. From what I understand, the videos were extracted from our phones even though their application for a search warrant is still pending.
Bajram was bleeding from his lip and nose at the station, his shirt was ripped and he had scrapes up his back. There were bruises all over his face and strangulation marks on his neck. His hand was so swollen and discolored, it was concerning and I cried when I saw him. They refused us both medical attention after many requests and held us in jail overnight. We still didn’t understand why we were being arrested until 4pm the next day, when they handed us pages of charges and threw us in front of a judge. They arrested me for interfering w an arrest (OGA) for “lunging at and striking an officer of the law.” I had to read it many times to even believe what it said. Bajram was arrested for DWI, resisting arrest, and a bunch of other things.. they said he refused field sobriety tests… does this look like he was offered tests? My sister (who slept in the waiting room since she was left with no phone and was still waiting on information about it and us) bailed me out shortly after but Bajram’s bail was so high that we couldnt get him out until late that night, around 1AM.
Now we’re dealing with court and these charges, but I plan to stand up for myself and everyone else who was treated unfairly by the police. They are supposed to be here to protect us, not scare us and hurt us. Cops like this, who think they are above the law, should be stripped of their badges. We need to make a change. Every effort counts.