Washington police review use of force after woman alleges officers punched her

Police in Washington state are reviewing their officers' use of force during the arrest of a woman reported to be disabled.

Megan Graham, 36, was pulled over on May 27 in Federal Way, Wash., after a police officer saw her using her cellphone while driving.

According to police records, an officer approached Graham and asked for her license and registration. Graham showed the officer her license, along with an expired insurance card.

After the officer went back to his car to write her a ticket, Graham got our of her car with her dog in hand and started walking towards an apartment building, according to police. The officer says he told Graham to get back into her vehicle, but she would not comply.

Graham says she has a cognitive disorder and hearing disabilities and did not hear the officer's order to return to her car.

"I had a concussion," Graham told KIRO 7. "I still have a hard time understanding how things got so out of control, so fast."

According to police documents, the officer went to arrest Graham and grabbed her hand.

"I attempted to conduct a wrist lock but Graham muscled me and used her weight to pull away from me," the officer wrote in a police report.

Graham says she felt she was being attacked, and called 911 for help, according to KIRO 7.

"I pulled my arm back, grabbed my phone and called 911 to call for help," Graham told KIRO 7. "I told the officer I had mental and hearing disabilities, and didn't understand why he was trying to hurt me."

A second officer arrived on the scene shortly afterwards, and together with the first officer took Graham "to the ground," according to police documents.

"It was horrible. I just didn't understand any of it," Graham told KIRO 7. "I told him about my condition. Punching me over and over in the eye is obviously excessive force. He could have handled it a lot differently."

The officers noted Graham sustained an injury to her face, and one officer says Graham scratched his neck.

Graham was arrested and charged with assault. An investigation is underway.

"We are committed to a thorough and complete investigation into this matter," said Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson. "It is important for all of the facts and circumstances to be known. A use of force review has been initiated as well."

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