Saugerties woman says deputy used excessive force; plans to sue sheriff’s department

A still from the video, posted to Facebook.

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. 

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Related: Ulster Sheriff releases body cam video showing alleged excessive force arrest

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.”

There are 17 comments

  1. andrew cowan

    Interesting that the very relevant fact the individual was driving on a suspended license is briefly noted at the end of the article rather than as a headline. The driver would have to have done something warranting the police to run her plate and learn she’s driving illegally, giving them cause to approach her. Her attitude of “So, I was driving on suspended license, it doesn’t give them the right to approach me and scare me” and turn it into a case of police abuse is absurd. Regardless of the politics around law enforcement nowadays, police still have it tough with trying to reasonably perform their duties in the face of quick to claim abuse, litigious citizens – who- in this case were thumbing their nose at the law by driving on a suspended license illegally.

    1. Skip

      You’re an uninformed nitwit..I watch officers run my plates everyday following me waiting for the information cone back and then making a u turn to go stalk the next person that appears to be non-white…all you have to do is DWB..Drive While Black to get their unwarranted and unwanted attention…grow past your little microcosm..welcome to our world

  2. Deborah

    Having been a victim of police brutality in the town of Saugerties I can say beyond the shadow of a doubt, that many of the officers have not received proper training in how to handle domestic situations. I called the police to protect me, and ended up being treated as the agressor. I have zero faith in our local law enforcement. I am a conservative individual, don’t do drugs .. I am mortified that I have to go to court and defend myself. So much more to story. I am going to reach out to the editor

    1. andrew cowan

      Why not simply post the rest of the story here? Looks like the body cam footage supports the officer acted appropriately btw.- and- she was driving ILLEGALLY on a suspended license.

  3. Tired of the nonsense

    Ulster county sheriff Dept released the body camera footage and to say the least your behavior is unacceptable. You had no proof you took care of your suspension and the deputy treated you with respect even when he was getting ready to arrest you. All you had to do was deal with it get another appearance ticket and be done with it . YOU blew it up you made a spectacle of it now you pay the price. You weren’t violated and you just acted dumb because you screwed up. Your not helping your fellow man or those who’s REALLY suffered abuse. Get over yourself and move on.

  4. Miranda

    Having seen the Police Officer’s video, this is ridiculous. I feel sorry for this Officer. There are bad Officer’s out there that do abuse authority. This Is Not one of them. This is a selfish little girl that clearly has never been abused by the police.

  5. Jose

    The officer did nothing wrong. This lady was so dramatic. This seems to be the new thing – break the law and then claim the police abused you.

  6. Law abiding citizen

    Another example of reverse discrimination right away playing the race card not the fact that you broke the law and got fought people like this woman are simply what is wrong with this country

  7. Fair, Equal, and Just Accountability

    The other common fact of EVERY SINGLE ONE of these racial encounters, besides being black, is the person is not following authorities instruction, they are each and everyone, too a man and woman acting irrationally, they are being aggressive towards authority, and they all are resisting arrest, the arrest which they caused, by their own actions. Now, I am not saying, that kneeling on George Floyds neck till he is dead, is not murder, or excesses force was not used, also, as a common fact of them all, nor am I stating, that a no knock warrant, being aggressively served, using lethal action into the wrong apartment, killing an innocent sleeping, beautiful, young women is not crimminal. What I am saying, is that, if each and everyone of these tragic incidents, were handled different, by the victim, or the victims man and they had followed authorities instructions, and not resisted, (Or fired lethal force, FIRST!), each and every one of them would be alive today, some, maybe charged with a crime, but still alive. So let me propose, that everyone start obeying officers commands, let them do their thing, and arrest you, if they wish. How about we all believe that the officer who is pulling you over is an overzealous, racist pig, (Of course, they are not, or most are not. And, most likely are a wonderful person and officer, in reality, just play it safe, and act as if they are not.), who would love too kill you, if you give him the chance, and obey, obey, and obey. If that is what they do too you and they are wrong, and you are innocent, then, if you are right, fight the law in court. Even if you are guilty, better charged with a crime, than dead. The life you save, just may be your own.

  8. Mrs Beesmer

    She totally, repeatedly resisted arrest over & over 30+ times! Does she even know what resisting arrest means because she absolutely did! She should have complied with police and brought her legal Documentation to court & she probably would have been let go without a fine. What reason would
    She have to repeatedly resist arrest if she truly had the papers at home? Was she hiding something else? That was just stupid on her part. I saw them do this to a white person when she was driving with a suspended license & she wouldn’t get out of the car. Same thing happened because she didn’t comply? WHY??? It’s easier to say I am guilty, I have my papers saying I am cleared at home & I will show them to the judge. To ask the officer to follow you home is beyond ridiculous.
    It Really should have all been very simple! She totally made it complicated! Since when can’t you be arrested when you are in a parked car? He obviously followed her there she didn’t dispute that she wasn’t driving?? Give it up, you resisted, no doubt about it!!!!!!!

  9. Lisa Jsted

    This is a spoiled young lady playing the Race card. I don’t know if her license is suspended or not. But I’m fairly certain if she indeed cleared it up it wouldn’t still show as suspended. Why she thought she couldn’t be taken out of her car is beyond me. They must have some interesting laws in that town.

  10. Skip

    I’ve personally witnessed similar instances where the offending person was white and was treated MUCH differently…the officer just notified them that they needed to get their license fixed and sent them on their way..NOT THREATEN TO ARREST THEM…NOT THREATEN TO TASER THEM…NOT DRAG THEM OUT OF THEIR CAR.
    AND THE TONE OF THE EXCHANGE STARTED OUT EXACTLY THE SAME BUT IN MY FRIEND’S INSTANCE THE OFFICER DIDN’T SEE A NEED TO ESCALATE THINGS TO THIS EXTENT
    I’M INTERESTED IN KNOWING WHO TRAINED OFFICER WOLTMAN..funny how some “people” are treated differently from other “people” in the exact same setting

  11. RP

    Color has NOTHING to do with this. Entitlement does. Take care of your business and you won’t be pulled over and arrested. Screaming like a child having a temper tantrum because you don’t want to take responsibility for your actions is not discrimination. So sad this is what things are coming to.

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