By Sebastien Malo
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City's police department said on Wednesday it launched an internal investigation into a complaint that an officer slammed a pregnant woman to the ground during an altercation on a Brooklyn street.
An NYPD spokesperson said investigators were examining a video of the incident, the latest in a series of clips that have heightened concerns about the use of force by New York police.
The video of the altercation, uploaded on the Facebook page of a police monitoring group, appears to show an officer scuffling with a woman and forcing her face down to the pavement. An onlooker can be heard yelling: "Oh my God, she's pregnant."
The woman shown in the video is Sandra Amezquita, who is six months pregnant, said Dennis Flores of El Grito de Sunset Park, the monitoring group.
The incident on Saturday comes a week after another officer in Brooklyn was suspended when he was caught on video kicking a street vendor. In July, a man died after police put him in a banned chokehold while arresting him on suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes on a Staten Island street corner.
Flores said Amezquita told him that she suffered vaginal bleeding after hitting the ground. The woman is in her early 40's, he said.
"Her 17-year-old son, her husband and their neighbors were eating at a restaurant, and as they were eating, the son stepped outside of the restaurant and he got approached by this group of officers. The officers had started frisking him," he said.
"The mother, when she saw this, as any mother would do, instinctively ... started protesting, yelling," Flores said.
At the time of the incident, the teenager was out of jail on bail after being charged with robbery, Flores said.
The video shows a man that the activist identified as the father of the teenager and a third man also trying to intervene.
Amezquita was handed a summons for disorderly conduct, according to police. Several charges were filed against the woman's husband, including resisting arrest, and her son, including criminal possession of a weapon, Flores said.
(Editing by Frank McGurty and Sandra Maler)