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Syracuse police share video clips of Armory Square arrest that injured woman

The podium at a Syracuse Police Department press conference.
Karl Winter
A Syracuse police banner stands behind a podium where officials shared an announcement about a use of force incident, Jan. 30, 2023.

The Syracuse Police Department released selected video footage on Monday of an arrest over the weekend that left a woman injured.

Police said they responded to a report that a woman, later identified as Uniyah Chatman, stole a tip jar from an eatery in Armory Square in the early hours of Saturday.

Officials said the footage shows officers tried to calm the situation but detained Chatman after she allegedly spit at them. Police then appear to restrain Chatman against a building where she hit her head leaving her injured and bleeding. A deputy chief said Chatman was later given a sedative to calm her so medical professionals could give care.

Police Chief Joe Cecile said he made the footage available to be transparent, especially after recently released police footage in Memphis showed officers there beating a young black man, Tyre Nichols, before he later died.

“I believe when you watch this video narration you will see, and please make up your own minds here, that there are no similarities to Memphis here," Cecile said. "A great deal of de-escalation and procedural justice techniques were used by the officers prior to any hands on and prior to any arrests," Cecile said.

Cecile would not answer media questions nor provide an update on Chatman’s condition at the Monday release of the footage. He said Chatman’s mother saw the content before it was shared.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing. Police officials called for community members who may have collected video footage at the scene to share the content with the department.

Tarryn Mento is an award-winning digital, audio and video journalist with experience reporting from Arizona, Southern California, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Tarryn produces in-depth and investigative content for WAER while overseeing the station's student reporter experience. She is also an adjunct professor at Syracuse University.