A 26-year-old Saugerties woman who was arrested following a traffic stop for failure to signal a turn, part of which was caught on video, said an Ulster County Sheriff’s deputy used excessive force that gave her a concussion, nerve damage in her wrist from the handcuffs, and bruises on her body, putting her out of work for three days.
Shana Shaw was charged with resisting arrest, driving with a suspended license and marijuana possession. She was released with an appearance ticket.
Shaw said she filed a formal complaint and plans to sue the department.
The arrest occurred Monday, December 28 at around 3:45 p.m. in the parking lot of Buffalo Wild Wings on Ulster Avenue in the town of Ulster. The 43-second video, which was posted on Facebook and first reported on by Kingston Wire, was recorded by a bystander who did not give his name. In it, Shaw can be heard saying “you can not legally arrest me, I’m in a parking lot.” The video shows a deputy pulling Shaw out of the driver’s seat and onto the ground and behind another parked car, out of view of the camera person. The camera person then moves to a position where he can see between the cars, and the video shows Shaw with two deputies kneeling over restraining her; they tell her to stop resisting, and she screams “I’m not resisting” twice. At that point, the video ends.
A release from the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office detailing the arrest reads, “Ms. Shaw fought with deputies when they attempted to take her into custody.”
“A representative from Mrs. Shaw has reached out for a meeting to discuss this incident,” said Sheriff Juan Figueroa in an email on Tuesday, December 29. “There is an ongoing preliminary investigation as this occurred yesterday, no further information is available at this time. A full investigation will be completed, If there is any wrongdoing on behalf of the members of this office, they will be held accountable.”
The video, posted to Facebook earlier this week
The day after the incident, Shaw told Hudson Valley One that she filed a complaint against the deputy who pulled her out of her car, whom she identified as Officer Woltman. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s department confirmed that the deputy in the video is Deputy Brian J. Woltman.
Shaw said she also plans to sue the police department.
“I’ve been targeted by the police for a while, so this isn’t nothing new to me,” said Shaw.
She recalled what happened before and during the arrest.
“I’m a nursing assistant – I’ve worked all day and I was picking up food, something I do regularly,” said Shaw. “I pulled into the parking spot and out of nowhere an unmarked SUV was behind me.”
She said she was already parked and was “confused” to see deputies pull up behind her.
“Then he asked if my name was Shana,” said Shaw, which she didn’t say yes or no to. “He knew who I was already. He proceeded to say step out of the car. In my head I don’t have enough information and he knows who I am so I felt uncomfortable…I am an African-American and cops are shooting us in the head and killing us.”
She then pulled out her own phone to start recording the situation because she “didn’t know what was going to happen” next, considering she’s seen “many people get beat up by cops.”
“I am terrified by them,” said Shaw. “I don’t even want to leave my house after this.”
Shaw said the deputy “immediately became aggressive” after she pulled out her phone to record him.
“This all occurred because of [my suspended license] I guess,” said Shaw, who also refuted the claim that the officers found marijuana in her car.
She said she asked for legal representation as soon as she was handcuffed.
“I feel fully taken advantage of,” said Shaw. “I don’t think there needed to be two male officers to yoke up a girl that is 130 pounds, in her scrubs from work, and I’m an essential worker.”
“Even if I broke a law, that was still excessive force,” said Shaw.
She’s calling for any previous complaints about the deputy to be revealed and for the topic of police brutality to be addressed.
“I want to feel comfortable where I live,” said Shaw. “I shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not I’ll come home.”