Atlanta police have released bodycam footage showing the arrest of Douglas County Probate Judge Christina Peterson after she allegedly struck an officer outside a nightclub on Thursday. The incident occurred when an Atlanta police officer, who was working an approved extra job at the Red Martini Restaurant and Lounge, heard a commotion around 3:18 a.m. and went to investigate. The officer found security escorting a woman out of the venue and tried to de-escalate the situation. However, 38-year-old Peterson rushed toward the commotion, screaming at the security guard and the officer.

In the bodycam video, Peterson can be seen pushing the officer in the chest and yelling, “Let her f—ing go.” She continued to resist the officer’s attempts to assist the woman being escorted out and allegedly pushed the officer a second time before being taken into custody. Despite the officer’s efforts to learn her identity, Peterson refused to cooperate and was eventually charged with simple battery against a police officer and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.

After being taken to the Fulton County Jail for processing, Peterson was represented by her lawyer, Fulton County Commissioner Marvin Arrington Jr., who held a press conference alongside her to address the incident. According to Arrington, Peterson was trying to defend a woman who was being attacked by an unknown man outside the lounge when the altercation with the officer occurred. The woman, identified as Alexandria Love, supported Peterson’s actions and claimed that she was the only one who came to her aid during the attack.

Arrington called on the lounge to release its surveillance footage, arguing that based on eyewitness accounts and video evidence, Peterson should not have been arrested. Peterson has faced previous controversies, including a Judicial Qualifications Commission panel finding her guilty of “systemic incompetence” in April. The panel recommended her removal from office after finding instances of neglecting her duties, disregarding courthouse rules, mistreating courthouse staff, and engaging in inappropriate behavior on social media.

Peterson’s future as a judge now rests with the Georgia Supreme Court, which will review the panel’s recommendation at a later date. Despite the ongoing legal battle, Peterson’s lawyer and supporters continue to defend her actions during the nightclub incident, emphasizing her commitment to protecting others in need. The case has sparked a debate over the appropriate use of force and the responsibilities of public officials in challenging situations.