Woman’s broken jaw leads to Roswell police investigation

Roswell police Chief Rusty Grant said an officer didn’t intend to fracture Shanita Maeberry’s jaw during a recent marijuana bust.

Police are investigating the Nov. 11 incident caught on dashcam that left Maeberry injured, Grant told Channel 2 Action News.

According to police, an officer smelled marijuana coming from the car. Maeberry admitted to smoking the marijuana, but she became defensive when one of the officers searched her purse to find the drug.

As police attempted to arrest Maeberry, she began to pull away and hit Officer James Van Alstine, who struck her in the face “to gain control,” according to Roswell police spokeswoman Lisa Holland.

Officers can be heard off camera saying “Let her go.” Maeberry suffered a broken jaw and was treated at a hospital. A friend who was with her was not injured.

Grant told Channel 2 that officers had probable cause to pull her over, but said the entire situation is unfortunate and that officers regret what happened.

“It was unfortunate that during that struggle where she actually hit the officer, the officer struck her,” he said. “It’s described to me as he struck her in the face in a stunning move so he could take her to the ground.”

Alstine is still on the job during the investigation, Channel 2 reported.

Grant said he hopes the department can use the incident to improve.

Maeberry is out of jail on bond, according to jail records. She was charged with marijuana possession and obstruction of an officer.

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