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All charges dropped against Charlotte woman punched by officer in viral arrest video

CMPD confronted two people at a bus stop in southwest Charlotte last week for allegedly smoking marijuana. That led to a violent arrest.
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CMPD confronted two people at a bus stop in southwest Charlotte this month for allegedly smoking marijuana. That led to a violent arrest.

The Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday that it will not prosecute two people who were arrested earlier this month at a southwest Charlotte bus stop. CMPD approached a man and a woman about allegedly smoking marijuana, which led to a violent confrontation that went viral after it was caught on video.

When CMPD attempted to arrest Christina Pierre near Arrowood Road and South Tryon Street, several officers held her down while one officer punched her repeatedly in the leg. She was also hit at least once in the face. Police said the strikes were justified to control Pierre while she resisted, and initially denied she had been hit in the face before saying an officer did in fact do so.

She was charged with possessing marijuana, resisting arrest and assault on a government official.

Anthony Lee was also charged with carrying a concealed gun and possession of marijuana.

Pierre’s attorney said she was not smoking marijuana, but rather a legal cannabis product called THC-A that’s sold in stores throughout the city. It looks and smells just like the illegal drug, and has the same mind-altering properties when smoked. But it's legal to buy, sell and possess in North Carolina, and it's advertised freely on storefronts across Charlotte.

In dismissing the charges, prosecutor Sheena Gatehouse wrote that after watching the police body camera footage, as well as the recorded videos from bystanders, "the state does not have a reasonable likelihood of success at any potential trial on this matter."

In response, CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings said in a statement that he’s disappointed by the decision — specifically the decision to drop the gun charge and the assault on a government official charges.

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Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.