Woman says Fayetteville officers assaulted her; chief calls for release of full video

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Wednesday, October 12, 2022
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Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins calls for judge to release body camera video from incident where woman says officers assaulted her.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Fayetteville police chief calls for judge to release body camera video from incident where woman says officers assaulted her.

Ja'Lana Dunlap's lawyer released cellphone video from the incident, but it does not clearly show the altercation.

The lawyer said officers assaulted Dunlap on Sept. 6 when she was taking photos of a property to document illegal dumping. An officer asked Dunlap or identification and when she refused the situation escalated.

The lawyer said the officers dragged Dunlap out of her car, slammed her up against it and handcuffed her. She was later released and not charged with any crime.

Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins said she understands why the cellphone video is attracting attention. To better inform the public of what happened, she is making a formal request for an area judge to allow the release of police body camera footage from the incident.

"We are asking for our community's patience as we complete a thorough review of the situation ensuring accurate and complete information," she said.

Hawkins also went on to explain that officers approached Dunlap in a vacant lot 0.5 miles from where a potentially violent suspect ran away from police. Once police confirmed she was not the suspect, they let her go.

An internal investigation is underway into how officers handled the situation.