Euclid police say woman punched, bit them during arrest after some raised concern

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EUCLID, Ohio-- Euclid police officials released video of a June 26 arrest of a woman after some local ministers raised concerns over her treatment.

Police Chief Scott Meyer said he believes his officers acted properly and used "considerable restraint" when arresting Shawnte Lewis.

The ministers want to meet with the mayor to discuss the incident, and the chief said he too is willing to meet with them and show them the video.

"We have dash camera video, security video, and body camera video," Meyer said.

The chief said the officers were finishing a traffic stop when Lewis stopped her car in the middle of the road, rolled down her window and yelled at them.

Shawnte Lewis -- courtesy: Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department

"Stop being a ******* pig," the woman can be heard saying on dash camera video. When the officer asked what she meant, she repeated her statement and added, " You are harassing a kid."

The officers told her she was impeding traffic and they were going to charge her. She left and officers chased her for a short time.

"The officers called off the chase, but her vehicle was found a short time later in a parking lot," said Lt. Mitch Houser.

The woman's husband came to the scene and she eventually walked out of the building.

"No that's her," one officer can be heard saying on security video from the building.

Police said the woman then punched one officer in the face.

"She also bit one in the hand and spit at another officer," Houser said.

Lewis was indicted on several charges, including assault and failure to comply.

The chief said the officers did use a taser on the woman and physical force.

"She bit one of the officer's hands and that officer punched her to get her to quit biting him," the chief said .

Lewis is due back in court next week to face the charges.

One of the ministers involved, Pastor Aaron Phillips, tells FOX 8 he is "appalled" by the video and believes the officers were not justified in their actions.

"I am outraged," Phillips said. "They are trying to justify what they did. She had every right to voice her opinion. We are in trauma and tired of being harassed by police."

Phillips said he and the other ministers want to meet with the mayor within 10 days and would also like an outside agency to investigate the case.

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