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ROSWELL, Ga. A Roswell police officer has been exonerated of allegations he used excessive force during a traffic stop that ended with a woman jaw broken.

Officer James Van Alstine pulled Shanita Maeberry over in November on Highway 9 after smelling marijuana coming from her car.

know her hand came around and as it came around to me, I was struck somewhere between the ear and the cheek area of my face, he told investigators. it wasn just a tap. I mean, it was a slap and she slapped the hell out of me is what she did. Van Alstine admitted that he punched Maeberry during the scuffle, but said he didn see his actions as order to stop her and stop this violence that was being offered against me, I used my right hand and threw one strike. I punched to the jaw, somewhere on the middle of the jaw. I even tried to hold back on the amount of force into the punch because I wasn trying to hurt her so much as I was trying to stun her and stop the acts of aggression. Another officer who witnessed the incident told investigators Maeberry actions left Van Alstine no other choice.

watched her basically hit him in the face, the officer said. mean, when you hit one of us, what do you expect?

After an internal affairs inquiry that lasted for eight months, Police Chief Rusty Grant exonerated Van Alstine last week of any wrongdoing. Grant declined to be interviewed Monday, but in an interview in November he said the department the incident, but felt the officer handled the situation within protocols.

Maeberry and her attorney declined to comment on the chief decision, but her cousin, April Showers, spoke to Petchenik.

time for justice, Showers said. didn call for a man to literally punch a female in the mouth. Showers said her cousin is a good person who is trying to put this incident behind her to move on with her life.

she comply? No. Did she resist? Maybe so, but she not the type of person who would literally strike an officer, Showers said. her actions was did not warrant to be literally punched out. Van Alstine attorney, Scott Poole, told Petchenik his client was confident the chief would exonerate him.

a situation like that, the officer has the ability to defend himself. The reality is he still has to effectuate the arrest, he said. “He certainly didn intend to break her jaw.”
the north face hedgehog gtx jaw during traffic stop exonerated