Lawyer wants body cam video of CMPD arrest released, despite dropped charges

CHARLOTTE — Body camera video showing a viral arrest involving Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers could soon be released to the public. A judge is set to decide whether to release that footage on Thursday.

Cellphone video of the arrest shows a CMPD officer punching Christina Pierre in southwest Charlotte. Pierre was charged with assault on a government official, resist/delay/obstruct and possession of marijuana.

On Tuesday, the district attorney’s office announced they were dropping all charges against Pierre. Channel 9’s Hunter Sáenz spoke with her attorney on Wednesday.

Although CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings was “...disappointed to learn that all charges were dropped,” Sáenz was told he still wants the public to see the body camera video for themselves.


Many have seen the viral eyewitness video showing Christina Pierre struck by a CMPD officer 17 times. Police said Pierre punched them first while they were arresting her and her fiancé, Tony Lee, for smoking marijuana at a bus stop in Steele Creek.

But on Thursday, a judge will decide if and when the public should see the body camera video and other captured footage of the incident.

Lauren Newton represents Pierre and Lee.

“There are over 20 videos,” she said.

They’ve long wanted the public to see the video and still want it released, even after the DA’s office dropped all charges against them.

“I think because the narrative first put out by CMPD when this happened is different than what the eyewitnesses came forward to say and what’s shown in the video,” Newton said.

Newton said although her clients are relieved they no longer face charges, the fight is far from over.

“We expect to file a civil suit based on excessive force,” she told Sáenz.

The hearing will be held virtually on Thursday at 11 a.m. Channel 9 plans to listen in and we’ll share what the judge decides.

(PREVIOUS: All charges dismissed against Charlotte couple seen in viral arrest video)

Hunter Sáenz

Hunter Sáenz, wsoctv.com

Hunter is a reporter for Channel 9.

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