Authorities are investigating an incident involving a woman punched by a police officer multiple times in the face. It's alleged that it was due to missing cheese on a Big Mac, reports Dayton Daily News.
Latinka Hancock entered a McDonald's in Dayton, Ohio after ordering food from the drive-thru, claiming she paid for extra cheese but didn’t receive it. When the manager told the line cook to add cheese to the sandwich, Hancock was informed that she would have to pay another 30 cents. Hancock got into a heated exchange with the line cook, and then store employees called Sgt. Todd Stanley and officer Tim Zellers to the restaurant
Captured on one of the officer’s body cam, the footage shows two officers arresting Hancock in the parking lot. As she is apprehended, she's seen being punched by a police officer in her face, multiple times.
According to the officers' account, Hancock was resisting arrest. The interaction caused one of the officers to threaten to use a taser on her before he struck her with an "open palm strike" on the face.
After the incident, Hancock reportedly sought medical care at a hospital, where she was diagnosed with a head injury.
On Wednesday, Hancock’s attorney Michael Wright and Derrick Foward, president of the Dayton NAACP, held a news conference accusing McDonald’s of allowing the situation to spiral out of control by calling the police.
“I want to be clear that this incident should have never occurred in the first place. McDonald’s should be ashamed for resorting to calling the police over a disagreement over an order they got wrong,” Wright said. “If they can’t manage basic customer service, opting to potentially put a person’s life in jeopardy over a mishandled Big Mac, it doesn’t seem safe for Black people to and eat at McDonald’s anymore.”
Hancock, overcome with emotion, also took questions during the press conference to explain her side of the story,
“I’m glad that I’m able to be here, to be honest. I don’t want people to feel like I’m complaining over a piece of cheese,” she said. “I went in with good intentions. I came with everything; I brought back the sandwich, the fries, and the receipt ... I want(ed) either the sandwich or my money back.”
Wright also argued that the police department "didn't do anything or address any of this until the video went viral."
“Nothing about this was reasonable,” he said. 'This was uncalled-for.'
Foward added that Hancock asked for representation from his office “from a civil and human rights standpoint.”
“(Officers) are taught they can use their fists, but they’re not taught to use their fists on a face ... so, policy was not followed in this particular case,” Foward said.
The Butler township police department has opened an internal investigation and both officers have been placed on administrative leave.