A college football game ended badly for rowdy fan. Bridget Freitas has been charged with felony battery on a police officer. The 30-year-old nurse was drunk enough to attract the attention of the police. When they attempted to curtail her disorderly conduct, she struck on of the officers. Video of his response, a brutal right to Freitas’s chin, has gone viral.
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Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta acknowledged that the department is reviewing the video of the arrest at Hard Rock Stadium.
The official report says that Freitas had been “using profanity in a loud, boisterous manner.” The officers asked her to leave the stands, but she refused.
Uniformed officers then picked her up. They began walking up the stairs when Freitas took a swing at Detective Douglas Ross, who is carrying her right leg. Her first swipe missed, or made minimal contact. The second, though, hit the officer in the face. He immediately responded by punching her.
Freitas then went slack. It is unclear if she was knocked unconscious.
The University of Miami went on to beat Virginia Tech, but the viral video is what most will remember from the game.
“University of Miami officials said they were aware of the video and were also gathering information,” the AP reports. “The school often employs off-duty officers in uniform to assist with crowd control, traffic and security at football games, and there were multiple skirmishes in the stands Saturday that required intervention of law enforcement and others.”
Reaction to the incident has been highly polarized. Freitas identifies as Hispanic. Detective Ross is black. Many feel like Detective Ross’s right hook was unnecessary. This is more evidence of an epidemic of police brutality.
Others feel like the punch was well deserved. Freitas clearly struck Detective Ross in the face, and those actions carry consequences.