Surveillance video shows Moorhead police officer hitting woman

Courtesy: Cass County State’s Attorney
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MOORHEAD, Minn. (Valley News Live) - Surveillance video has been released by the Cass County State’s Attorney office showing a Moorhead police officer elbowing a woman in the face.

Mathew Lambert, a patrol officer with the Moorhead Police Department, was inside a room at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo last year in September with 47-year-old Jennifer Thomas.

Lambert, 33, is seen on video grabbing Thomas by the neck as she got up from the hospital bed cursing at officers. As Lambert pushed her to the bed, Thomas spits on him. That’s when he strikes her in the face with his elbow.

Thomas ended up with a fractured nose and a contusion to her right eye.

Last week, prosecutors filed a motion dropping an aggravated assault charge against Lambert.

According to court documents, Lambert originally told the Fargo Police Department, who was investigating the incident, that he believed Thomas hit herself on the bed.

Lambert reportedly brought Thomas to Sanford for “clearance purposes.” She was arrested earlier that day for causing a disturbance at the Moorhead Buffalo Wild Wings.

The state’s attorney office stated in court documents it sought the opinion of a professional expert on the case. The expert told prosecutors Lambert acted reasonably.

Prosecutors said they didn’t “necessarily agree with the conclusion” but they recognized “it creates reasonable doubt as to guilt.”

According to the state’s attorney office, there are 17 different videos they are currently reviewing from the case before making them public.

Moorhead Police Department Spokesman Capt. Deric Swenson wouldn’t comment on the video. However, Swenson said Lambert is on paid administrative leave while the department does its own investigation on the matter.