A woman who a Moore police officer slammed to the ground after she screamed in his face is facing a felony charge for allegedly spitting on the officer’s hand while he was on top of her.
A probable cause affidavit and body camera footage show that after Jada Navarro swore at him, MPD Sgt. Zachary Grismer took her to the ground in a parking lot and cuffed her while he was on top of her back during a traffic stop on May 4. Navarro swore at Grismer after he pushed her away for refusing to move while he was taking inventory of her car for impoundment, the video shows.
Navarro, 20, of Oklahoma City was charged in Cleveland County District Court with felony placing body wastes or fluids on a government employee or contractor for spitting on Grismer’s hand while she was in custody. She was also charged with a misdemeanor for standing in Grismer’s way as he took inventory, according to the body cam footage.
In an email to The Transcript Thursday, MPD Lt. Kyle Johnson said the police department reviewed Grismer’s use of force and found it was in compliance with state law and department policy. Oklahoma law says force is justified if “necessarily committed” when performing a legal duty.
MPD deems force “excessive” if an officer “continues to apply physical force to a person who has been rendered incapable of resisting arrest,” according to the department handbook.
“There has been no further contact between Mrs. Navarro and the City of Moore. If there is a concern of Mrs. Navarro, we are unaware. Mrs. Navarro has not contacted the Moore Police Department or the City of Moore at this time,” Johnson said in an email to The Transcript.
The Cleveland County District Attorney’s office did not immediately respond to an email asking about its charging decisions in this case.
In the video, Grismer first approaches Navarro at a traffic stop in a parking lot for expired tags. After Navarro tells Grismer she doesn’t have a license or proof of insurance, he asks her to sign a document and explains the car is going to be impounded.
As Navarro gathers her belongings, Grismer looks through the car, including the glove compartment and the center console.
When Navarro expresses frustration with Grismer for looking, he tells her he’s doing an inventory check before the car is taken to the impound lot. Officers are generally allowed to search cars without a warrant if they’re going to be impounded.
Navarro is heard mimicking Grismer as he tells her what he’s doing.
After Grismer opens the front driver’s side door to look in the front seat, Navarro, who is on her phone nearby, lightly pushes the door into Grismer and asks him what he’s looking for and for him to close the door. Grismer tells her to “stop,” and Navarro accuses him of pushing the door on him.
When Grismer tells her to step away, Navarro says it’s her car and she’s “not stepping away for s—.”
Grismer tells Navarro he’s going to make her step away; Navarro says he’s not. Grismer then pushes her arm, at which Navarro comes up to his face and screams, “f— you, b—.”
After a struggle, Navarro is seen with her face down beneath Grismer, screaming “f— you, b—,” yelling for the person on the phone to come get her and to call 911 then screaming, “don’t shoot me.” She repeatedly screams “don’t shoot me” as Grismer grabs her arms and tells her to stop resisting.
At one point, Navarro spits — Grismer later tells other officers she spat on his right hand.
When Grismer struggles to pull Navarro’s arms together to cuff her and tells her to stop resisting and scratching him, Navarro yells that she has arthritis and screams at him to “please stop.”
“I told you to step away from me,” Grismer says as he cuffs Navarro. He then helps her stand up and walks her to his patrol car.
“I slammed her on the ground and finally got her into cuffs after I put her in a chicken wing,” Grismer says to other officers after placing Navarro in the back of the car. “... She was standing in front of her driver door. I opened the door, and she kept saying, ‘You don’t need to be in the vehicle, it’s my car, I’m not moving’... I told her to step away, and she pushes the door back into me. She walked up and [got] in my face. I told her to get away from me, and I put my hand on her and hit her back, and she comes back to me, so I slammed her on the ground and put her in handcuffs — tried to.”
Another officer who responded to the scene took photos of Grismer’s pants, scuffed arm and right hand after he placed Navarro in the back of his patrol car. He also took photos of Navarro while she was detained in the back of the car.
The Transcript could not reach Navarro Thursday for comment on her arrest. She is scheduled for preliminary hearing conference June 7 in Cleveland County District Court.
Grismer has worked at the Moore Police Department for more than seven years. He does not have any citizen complaints on file, according to MPD records.