Independent news has never been so important.

Did you know that you can get Democracy Now! delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our Daily News Digest today! Don't worry, we'll never share or sell your information.

Phoenix Police Footage Shows Motorist’s Violent Arrest over Minor Traffic Violation

HeadlineJul 15, 2020

In Phoenix, Arizona, newly released body-camera footage shows a police officer assaulting a 23-year-old unarmed woman after she was pulled over for a minor traffic violation in January. The video shows officer Michael McGillis stopping Mariah Valenzuela without explanation, before he suddenly tackles her and slams her to the ground without warning.

Mariah Valenzuela: “Why am I getting pulled over?”

Michael McGillis: “Is this your car?”

Mariah Valenzuela: “No.”

Michael McGillis: “Bravo, John, Sam, 5-4-5-5.”

Mariah Valenzuela: “Why am I getting pulled over?”

Michael McGillis: “Do you have ID on you?”

Mariah Valenzuela: “No. Why am I getting pulled over?”

Michael McGillis: “OK. Put your hands behind your back.”

Mariah Valenzuela: “Excuse me!”

Michael McGillis: “Put your hands behind your back!”

Mariah Valenzuela: “No!”

Michael McGillis: “Put your hands behing your back! Stop!”

Mariah Valenzuela: [screams]

Michael McGillis: “Stop!”

Mariah Valenzuela: [screams]

Michael McGillis: “Stop! Hands behind your back!”

Mariah Valenzuela: [screams]

The assault left Valenzuela with injuries to her head, face, hands and legs. The video surfaced just one week after another Phoenix police officer was caught on camera fatally shooting James Porter Garcia while he was in a parked car in a residential driveway over Fourth of July weekend.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation