New Castle County

Del. woman arrested during caught-on-cam traffic stop speaks out

N'Finitee Coleman spoke out about her caught-on-video arrest during a traffic stop in Bear, Delaware, back on June 29

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A woman who was arrested during a caught-on-camera traffic stop in Delaware last month spoke out for the first time, accusing the officers of assaulting her during the incident.

"I'm gonna try not to cry the whole time," N'Finitee Coleman of Wilmington said during a press conference on Tuesday, July 9.

Coleman said she suffered physical and emotional injuries during the arrest.

"I did everything that I was taught to do and now I'm suffering from physical pain, mental trauma because of all of this," she said.

The arrest of N'Finitee Coleman

The incident -- which was captured on police body camera video -- occurred around 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, June 29, 2024, as Coleman pulled over in the parking lot of a Royal Farms off Pulaski Highway in Bear, county police said.

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Police said in a Thursday, July 4, 2024, news release that "an officer with the New Castle County Division of Police was traveling in the area of Walther Road and Pulaski Highway when he observed a car commit several traffic violations."

"The officer was also able to confirm that the car's registration was suspended without insurance and observed an old bullet hole in the driver's side door that had police evidence markings on it," investigators said.

The officer turned on the car's lights and followed Coleman along Pulaski Highway before she pulled into the Royal Farms and backed into a spot, police said.

The video -- which was posted to YouTube and is now being used in the investigation -- begins with an explainer about the footage. It then reveals police radio transmissions talking about "an uncooperative driver."

Warning: The video contains images of violence and many instances of profanity by both the woman being arrested and the police officers putting her under arrest.

The first images from the first police officer's bodycam shows the officer behind the wheel following the car.

The body-camera footage then shows as the officer approaches the vehicle while telling Coleman to "step out of the car." Coleman then has a conversation with the officer and asks why she was pulled over.

Coleman tries to no avail to have Siri call her attorney while the car door is open.

"When my backup officer gets here I'm gonna pull you out and put you in handcuffs," the officer says.

They continue to go back and forth about both how and why Coleman would be arrested as she questions if the bodycam of the main officer is actually on.

Coleman refuses to step out of the car as the officer and her continue to have a back-and-forth.

During Tuesday's press conference, Coleman said the officer was hostile toward her from the start. She also explained why she mocked the officer with sarcastic remarks throughout the video, stating PTSD and anxiety cause her to act that way during tense situations.

"When I have a panic attack, I run my mouth," Coleman said. "I will say anything and everything. That is a fact. I have records of it."

After a few minutes, other police officers arrived on the scene, sirens blaring.

Once backup arrives, the officer tells Coleman he will take her out of the car.

A scuffle then ensues as the officers tell Coleman to get on the ground.

"I'm gonna punch you in your face" can be heard from a man's voice during the struggle.

Once on the ground, one of the officers claims Coleman grabbed his foot.

"Get off his foot now," another officer can be heard yelling.

"It's all on camera ma'am, we're all on camera," a female police officer can be heard saying during the struggle to handcuff Coleman.

"It didn't have to be like this," an officer says as several officers continue to struggle to cuff Coleman.

Coleman and the officers continue to shout at each other even after she is cuffed.

Police try to get Coleman to stay on her side, so "she can breathe," a female officer says.

Coleman's knee and elbow can be seen skinned as she is rolled over after being cuffed. At least four officers can be seen before Coleman is led away to a waiting police car.

Coleman continues to resist police while being searched by an officer before being put into the car.

The video then includes circled still images of Coleman grabbing at police officers.

The second bodycam shows an officer get out of a police car and putting on gloves while approaching the initial police officer and the car.

As the struggle happens, one of the officers appears to be making several punching motions.

The second camera angle also appears to show more police officers at the scene.

The third bodycam angle shows the perspective of an officer in a passenger seat who arrives at the scene after the car was stopped. This angle also shows the struggle to get Coleman under control.

Police officers' faces are blurred in the third video, but Coleman's face continues to be unedited.

"Punch me in my face again so I can get it on camera," Coleman says while on the ground.

At least one officer can be heard breathing heavily as they get Coleman in the car.

The fourth bodycam angle shows an officer driving up to the Royal Farms and appearing to run toward the melee with Coleman already on the ground. It quickly turns to the "get off his foot now" scuffle.

It also gives another perspective of the search where Coleman questions being searched in her crotch area and around her breasts.

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer released a statement on social media on July 1 that promised to release the bodycam video.

“We are aware of the recent video recording circulating on social media regarding a New Castle County Police use of force in a parking lot on Route 40," Meyer said. "Our County Police have an obligation to serve and protect communities in a manner that first preserves the health and safety of all residents. And we have an obligation to do so equally across all communities in our county."

"In addition, in collaboration with the New Castle County Police Accountability Board, we will be conducting a review of all policies, training and practices with regard to de-escalation and cultural competency," Meyer said.

Coleman was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and additional traffic crimes. She and her attorney, Emeka Igwe, refuted the charges. They also said they're looking for financial compensation for Coleman's injuries and for the officers involved to be held accountable.

"We want some sort of training, remedial training for these officers to let them know it's not okay to punch someone in the head," Igwe said.

NBC10 reached out to New Castle County Police for a response to Tuesday's statements from Coleman and Igwe. A spokesperson said they had no further comment.

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