ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — A Sheridan police officer has been acquitted of assault for placing a woman in a chokehold during an arrest at a 7-Eleven.

Officer Shawn Ralph was accused of assault in the 2021 incident. Court records show a jury acquitted him on Friday after a four-day trial in the 18th Judicial District court.

The Sheridan Police Department said it will begin an internal investigation of what happened.

“We are committed to providing the best training for our officers on how to properly respond, and more importantly, how to react to all situations they may be confronted with,” the police department said in a statement.

Video showed spitting, chokehold at 7-Eleven

The FOX31 Problem Solvers reported on this story before.

Body camera video showed Ralph react to a shoplifting suspect who had spit in his eye. In the video, the officer can be heard saying, “F—ing spit on me!” It then appears to show him placing the woman in a chokehold for a few seconds.

According to previous reporting from FOX31’s Rob Low, it’s clear in the video that the woman meant to spit in the direction of a 7-Eleven employee, who had come outside to identify her as the person who stole a bottle of Coke and a package of Nutter Butter cookies.

As the 7-Eleven employee turned to walk back inside the convenience store, the woman stood up and spit in his direction, right as Ralph walked in between her and the store employee.

Ralph was later arrested. He has been on administrative leave since the incident but will now rejoin the department, according to Sheridan Police.

The woman in the incident was arrested on four misdemeanors and two petty offenses related to assaulting a first responder and shoplifting. Court records show all charges were dismissed but for theft under $50, to which she pleaded guilty.