News & Politics

Woman Calls 911 for Help As Police Punch Her in the Face Repeatedly

Megan Graham says she endured vicious police brutality.

Photo Credit:

A Washington woman with cognitive and hearing disabilities says she endured vicious police brutality. The woman, Megan Graham, told her story to KIRO 7, a Washington-based news outlet. She could face charges of felony assault of an officer, though she says she didn’t assault anybody.

The alleged abuse occurred in Federal Way, Washington. Graham was trying to visit a friend at an apartment complex when she saw a police car trailing her. The police saw her using a cell phone, and she says she told the police she was going to drop her dog off at her friend’s apartment and that he could follow her.

That’s when the incident occurred. Graham says she did not hear the police officer’s order to get back into her car, and when the officer grabbed her wrist, she felt like she was being attacked. She called 911 to explain the situation to another police officer, and hoped that additional law enforcement officials could calm the situation down.

In a recording of the 911 call, Graham can be heard saying: “You attacked me before you said anything! There is no point whatsoever for you to touch me like that, especially with my condition, so how dare you even touch me?” The officer is heard saying that she is under arrest.

Another responding officer punched Graham in the face a few times, while telling Graham not to resist arrest. When a police officer put weight on Graham’s hip--where she was injured--”she reacted by trying to flip over. Federal Way police said she assaulted an officer during that struggle,” reports KIRO 7.

A photo published by KIRO 7 shows Graham with black and blue marks over her eye and face.

Graham’s friend Deborah Fenwick backed up Graham’s account in an interview with the local news outlet. “That woman was not resisting, I saw it. That woman doesn't have a violent bone in her body. She's got a heart of gold. If she would have understood the officer's commands in the first place, she would have absolutely complied with him.”

The police dispute that narrative. In a statement e-mailed to KIRO 7, they said: “As the officer approached, Graham squared off against him in a fighter's stance and attempted to strike him with closed fists. (The officer) responded with closed fist strikes to Graham's face which brought her to the ground where she was handcuffed."

Graham says she did not hit the officer, and that she told the officer “about my condition. Punching me over and over in the eye is obviously excessive force. He could have handled it a lot differently.”


Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Election 2018