Who is Dalia Kafi? Handcuffed Black woman body-slammed headfirst by Calgary cop who broke her nose for breaking curfew
Disturbing footage showing a handcuffed Black woman being violently body-slammed to the ground by a Calgary police officer was released by a judge at the cops' trial in Alberta, Canada. Dalia Kafi, who was 26 years old at the time of the incident back in 2017, was arrested and taken to the Calgary Police Service's (CPS) arrest processing unit after she breached a court-ordered curfew. Const. Alex Dunn then confronted her at the unit and slammed her head-first onto the ground which left her bleeding in what was described as the "worst use of force" by a 30-year-old officer. Dunn is on trial on a charge of assault causing bodily harm following the incident.
Prosecutor Ryan Pollard called Kafi as the first of three witnesses to be questioned in the trial in a provincial court. Kafi said that she was at a friend's house braiding hair on Dec. 12, 2017, when she realized she was out past her curfew, which was from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Although, a friend offered to drive her home, on the way the driver was pulled over for turning on a yellow light. Since she knew that she would be in trouble with the law if she was found outside for violating curfew, Kafi said that she initially gave the officers her sister's name. Dunn was one of the officers and once she mentioned to him her real name, she was cuffed and arrested on the spot and taken to the arrest processing unit (APU).
In the footage released by court Judge Michelle Christopher to the members of the media, Kafi was seen "shrinking away" from Dunn as he advanced toward her. recounting what was going on, Kafi said that she was told to stand against a wall to have her photo taken and Dunn kept trying to remove a scarf she was wearing in her hair. Staff Sgt. Gordon Macdonald, who was the commanding officer at the APU told the court that Kafi was "flinching back." In the very next moment, Dunn slammed the handcuffed woman face-first onto the ground in what Macdonald described as a "judo-style throw." In the footage, Kafi's head could be seen bouncing off the concrete floor.
Warning: The following graphic footage might be disturbing to some readers
Tell me how you reform this... pic.twitter.com/5BUbs8zlkf— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) October 29, 2020
Macdonald also testified to the fact that he could hear the sound of Kafi's face being damaged by the throw. "There's only one type of sound when somebody's bone hits the floor and that's what I heard," he said from the witness box. Macdonald was the one who called the paramedics after Dunn backed off from Kafi. A pool of blood could be seen from the place Kafi was removed from the floor. Although the arresting officer accompanies an arrestee to the hospital, Dunn was advised not to be in Kafi's presence any longer after the incident. "I advised him that it was the worst use of force that I had seen," said Macdonald.
The APU's commanding officer also said that he did not see Kafi act in a way that would have justified Dunn's reaction despite her complaining about her arrest. He said she was belligerent though not threatening or aggressive. She ended up surgery for a broken nose and stitches on her lip. Dunn was suspended with pay for a year after he was charged. However, since then, he was reinstated in an administrative role with the department.
CPS said its internal disciplinary process will be completed after the trial, and depending on the outcome, discipline could include dismissal. "In general terms, police officers are trained to de-escalate conflict and to use the least amount of force necessary to safely resolve a situation. We expect them to follow the law, our policies and our training," CPS said in a statement.
The video went viral on Twitter and angry people soon started reacting to the footage. "What did the @CalgaryPolice do to these officers? They should all be removed immediately," one user said, while another commented, "What a horrible experience for this poor girl. Aside from PTSD, did she suffer any other permanent damage? A skull fracture? He should be in jail. In any other job, this would be cause for immediate termination. What is wrong with these people? How can this still be a thing?" A third said, "WTF!!? Was he trying to mess with her hair and when she recoiled, he lashed out? That’s so disrespectful and this type of popo brutality has got to end."
Another wrote, "Were that my daughter I guarantee my response would make the news." Next remarked, "I am someone who respects the position of a police officer, but for me to respect the individual officer, he or she will NOT be this." Someone else said, "Omg, this just saddens me and sickens me. We Must Do Better!"
What did the @CalgaryPolice do to these officers? They should all be removed immediately.— Shelby (@ShelbyS_HTX) October 29, 2020
What a horrible experience for this poor girl. Aside from PTSD, did she suffer any other permanent damage? A skull fracture? He should be in jail. In any other job, this would be cause for immediate termination. What is wrong with these people? How can this still be a thing?— Deb (@dancingdg) October 29, 2020
WTF!!? Was he trying to mess with her hair and when she recoiled, he lashed out? That’s so disrespectful and this type of popo brutality has got to end.— Heather J. Taylor (@heatherjtaylor) October 29, 2020
Were that my daughter I guarantee my response would make the news.— BartGuitar (@BartGuitar5150) October 29, 2020
I am someone who respects the position of a police office, but for me to respect the individual officer, he or she will NOT be this😡— LaDonna (@LaDonna18789946) October 29, 2020
Omg, this just saddens me and sickens me. We Must Do Better!— Donna 💙s Titans ✌🏻 (@asportsjunky) October 29, 2020