A viral video showing a Chester police officer striking a woman in the face Saturday with what appears to be a weapon has resulted in an investigation by the department, the chief said in a statement Sunday.
“The incident, the video, and the level of force used in connection with the event are all currently under investigation,” Chief James Nolan said in a statement posted on the department’s Facebook page.
The video, which had more than 2.7 million views on social media by 8 a.m. Monday, shows only part of the altercation between the unidentified officer and a woman whom police identified as Dominique Difiore, 20, of Brookhaven. The officer is seen hitting her in the face with what Nolan said was a Taser — an electroshock weapon that looks like a gun. Police say she struck the officer first, although that is not part of the footage.
Police said they were called to what was described as a “riot" on East 16th Street about 5 p.m. Saturday and found a large group of people fighting in the street. When officers learned that a St. Patrick’s Day house party a block away on 15th Street had turned into a disturbance, they went to that location.
Police provided the following account:
Jaylene Westfall, 19, of Levittown, assaulted a resident of the house when she and her friends were turned away from the party. The residents of the house had shut themselves inside, but “the assailants kicked in the locked front door."
Difiore, Westfall, Shawn Connelly, 21, of Philadelphia, and Tess Herman, 20, of Springfield, were arrested and charged with alcohol-related offenses and aggravated assault, police said.