NEW ORLEANS – A video shared on social media appears to show Commander Baldassaro throwing a woman to the street, twice, before other officers arrive to handcuff her.
In a press release from the NOPD to the media on Monday, Cunningham says that officers “were attempting to stop a physical altercation” between two women, and that Baldassaro’s actions are being investigated as a “Level 1 Use of Force.” Cunningham did not say in the release what type of force is “Level 1” — or what disciplinary action Baldassaro might face.
The woman, now identified as Taylor Bruce, brought on Attorney Robert Ferrier.
Mr. Ferrier held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss his client’s side of the story.
“Mrs. Bruce was born and raised in New Orleans. She graduated from McDonogh 35 High School. And she is currently a nursing student in Southern Baton Rouge. She’s about to graduate.” He continues, “She’s about to provide a service like the New Orleans Police officers. She wants to serve the public. Mrs. Bruce not only has never been arrested, but she hasn’t even seen handcuffs.”
Mr. Ferrier says that because criminal charges were filed against his client, he is unable to give specific details about the incident.
However, Mr. Ferrier says “the video speaks for itself.”
“My client was was wrongly arrested. My client will be completely exonerated of these charges. And hopefully, will get absolute justice in this case. We believe that the police department used excessive force while making the arrest on my client.”
According to NOPD Communications Director Andy Cunningham, Superintendent Shaun Ferguson has opened a “formal disciplinary investigation into the actions of (Baldassaro) after reviewing the video of the incident.