Twenty-two-year-old Colorado State University student Michaella Surat was slammed into the sidewalk by police officers last week and isn’t sure why. Video footage of the incident shows her been violently thrown to the ground outside of a Fort Collins bar. Now, Surat not only wants an explanation, but she also wants an apology.
“[It felt like] all my bones were shattering in my face […] and I was so humiliated and everyone was watching me,” she told ABC News on Thursday.
According to the Fort Collins Police Department, they were breaking up a fight between Surat’s boyfriend and another man when Surat allegedly hit a police officer multiple times and grabbed him by the throat. Surat, however, tells a different story about what happened.
“I found out my boyfriend got kicked out of the bar and so I went outside just to see what happened — and then the altercation happened and one thing led to another and it just escalated,” she said. “I would like an apology or an explanation to why it escalated to the point of body slamming me into the concrete.”
She was left with several bruises and a concussion, and her father insisted that had police used even slightest bit more force, the family “could have been planning her funeral.” However, police claim that videos shared on social media don’t paint a complete picture of the incident.
“As with most events of this type, the short, publicly-available video does not have the context or content of the full event,” Chief John Hutto said. “Additionally, rarely in use of force situations is there agreement from all the parties involved as to the appropriateness, efficacy, or necessity of its use. These questions are only answered through the analysis of all the evidence after the fact.”
Surat’s lawyer Andrew Bertrand believes the video shows enough of the story, saying, “I was extremely appalled. Certainly my client Michaella […] she was confused about where her boyfriend was. She looked highly irritated, but nothing I saw in that video warranted this.”
The altercation was also captured by police body cameras, but the footage will not be released until after the investigation is complete. Surat was arrested and charged with third-degree assault and obstructing an officer.