Shara Dae Howard/KYW Newsradio

Community seeks answers as Norristown police launch investigation into carnival brawl

May 12, 2019 - 8:22 pm
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Montgomery County community members are seeking answers after multiple videos capture a violent altercation involving police at a carnival this weekend. 

Video of the incident was uploaded to social media showing Norristown police officers attempting to arrest a female during the St. Francis of Assisi carnival, along Buttonwood Street.

Today, the Norristown Police Department issued a statement that an investigation has been launched into what took place Saturday night. Talbot says he wanted to hold the public meeting to "provide initial comments and describe the investigative steps that we will take moving forward."

Community members used Sunday's meeting to voice their concerns and displeasure with how the officers involved conducted themselves during the incident.

"I didn't know what to think at all," said 14-year-old Imarah Bates. "All I know is that I was being choked and couldn't breathe."

Bates says she can be seen in video being held on the ground by officers and "placed in a choke hold."

"He had his elbow around my neck, and then when he was trying to,  he tried to punch the crowd,  punch people in the crowd. When he did that he had one of his is hands around my neck," she said.

Bates tells KYW Newsradio that although she was placed into a Norristown police crusier at the scene, she was not charged with a crime. 

Talbot would go on to take questions from community members and witnesses for more than an hour. 

"There's a lot available on video for me to look at and make decisions around," he said. "You know, I would just hold tight before we say somebody was choked."

However, Bates' mother says she wants the officers involved taken off the streets, and is calling for additional training so that this doesn't happen again.

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KYW Newsradio's Shara Dae Howard and Kevin Wright contributed to this report.