Metro spokeswoman Sherri Ly said the Metro officer had “escorted” the female passenger off another rail car at the NoMa-Gallaudet station after she had “resisted” him. The passenger then reboarded the train in another car and sat down.
“It is important to note that cell phone video often fails to capture the full context of an interaction,” Ly wrote in an email.
Ly said the officer “deployed a short burst” of pepper spray “while attempting to gain compliance from an individual who refused multiple directives to exit the train due to her behavior. ”
The video, shot by another passenger, begins after the officer confronted a female passenger sitting just inside the doors of a stopped Red Line train at the station. The officer appears to be pulling the passenger’s black jacket with his left hand as he says, “Let’s go.”
The female passenger responds, “Fool, stop touching me!” as the officer says “Miss.” The passenger begins screaming and leaves the seat. Just after she walks off the screen — away from the officer and while cursing at him— the officer sprays something in her direction.
Another passenger who appears to be with her screams, “Why would you do that?” as the first female passenger continues screaming off camera. The officer backs away, saying “OC utilized” into his shoulder radio, and leaves the train amid sounds of the female passenger screaming and other passengers beginning to cough.
“OC spray” is another term for pepper spray.
Ly said commanders will review the incident as they do all those that involve use of force.
The video was posted on Twitter by a user with the Twitter handle @F---RonaldRegan. Someone who responded via a direct message from that account said they shot the video around 3 p.m. Tuesday.
The videographer, who gave their name as Chala from Montgomery County, said they were wearing headphones before beginning to shoot the video and didn’t know how the situation started.
“I just saw a large officer manhandling a young girl, so that caused me to start filming,” Chala said via a direct message on Twitter. “I only caught this brief moment before the pepper spray started filling the train car, and I had to leave because I couldn’t breathe.”
When asked why they started filming, Chala wrote, “I was concerned because he was yanking her by her arm as her friend tried to plead with him, and she looked young to me.”
The officer eventually removed the passenger from the train and put her in handcuffs, Chala wrote.
It was not immediately clear what charges the passenger may face.