An officer at the scene of the melee between two women is being accused of neglecting to break-up the brawl.
WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter spoke exclusively to the woman many are calling a victim.
This is the YouTube video at the center of controversy; and this is the woman on the losing end of the hair-pulling, face-scratching, beat-down that happened last month in the middle of downtown’s busy shopping district.
“That’s me and the sister on the glass fighting,” victim Ablioncia Lindsey said.
22-year old Ablioncia Lindsey says when an argument escalated, she never expected to go to blows because NOPD officers were patrolling nearby.
Judging from the video and the actions of officer Cortez Hankton, it apparently didn’t matter.
We showed the video to Kisha Briggs.
“He stood there and did not tell them one thing,” Briggs sad.
“The sister and the brother were attacking me and the police were just standing up there,” Lindsey said.
“While she’s trying to protect herself from another female, another guy comes along and is able to punch, not one but several licks on her that was horrible,” Briggs said in disappointment.” “This is just a perfect example of us citizens believing how the officers don’t do everything they can for the crime.”
The top cop agrees.
“I’ve lost confidence at this time in his ability to perform the duties necessary to protect the people of new Orleans and to protect fellow officers,” New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said.
Officer Hankton has been placed on leave without pay.
An attorney for the veteran officer says because his client was hesitant to break up the fight between two women, he used his radio to call for back-up from female officers.
“I don’t believe there’s an excuse,” Briggs said. “That really decreases the faith you have in officers that are supposed to be here to defend and protect us.”
“All police officers are trained to break up fights,” Serpas explained. “Every police officer has a responsibility to stop police from hurting each other; that’s the bottom line.”
As for Ablioncia, she says because of the video she’s become a victim over and over again.
“It’s all on Facebook, Instagram; and my family upset because they really stood up there and let a man punch on me in my face,” Lindsey said.
Serpas says the fate of the officer will be determined at the conclusion of the investigation that’s being conducted by the Public Integrity Bureau.