FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — Federal Way Police are reviewing their use of force during a recent arrest in which a woman diagnosed with cognitive and hearing disabilities was punched several times , while being restrained. Police, in turn, are recommending the woman be charged with felony assault to an officer.
Megan Graham told her story to KIRO 7, her face still black and blue and swollen from the beating.
"I had a concussion. I still have a hard time understanding how things got so out of control, so fast," Graham said. "It was a total lack of communication."
Last Monday, Megan Graham parked her car at a Federal Way apartment complex, where she was planning to visit a friend. She said as she was getting out of her car, she noticed a Federal Way Police car behind her.
"I understood that he saw me using a cell phone," said Graham. "I told the officer I was going to carry my dog thirty feet to a friend's apartment. I told him, hey, you can walk with me," she said.
Graham says because the officer was speaking to her from his running car, she never heard his order to get back into her car. When the officer lunged and grabbed her wrist, she felt she was being attacked.
"I pulled my arm back, grabbed my phone and called 911 to call for help," she said. I told the officer I had mental and hearing disabilities, and didn't understand why he was trying to hurt me."
In 911 recordings obtained by KIRO 7, Graham is heard pleading the dispatcher for help.
"I was hoping other officers would show up to listen and deescalate the situation," Graham said.