A new suit against an Atlanta Police Department details police brutality that is nothing short of mind-boggling. The police chief from the Rainbow City Police Department, along with three other from the City of Gadsden, are accused of tasering a little girl who was having a seizure, and then arresting her mother when she tried to help.
A federal lawsuit has been filed by the mother – an Etowah County woman, whose name has not been released.
Local AL.com reports that police officers from Rainbow City are alleged to have repeatedly fired Tasers at the woman and her teenage daughter while they were at a concert. This happened all while the daughter was having grand mal seizures.
In all, the suit was 32-page long, and was filed in U.S. District Court. It names five Rainbow City officers along with three Gadsden cops, who were part of the security detail at the concert.
The suit accuses them of using “excessive force, torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.”
As noted, it further names Rainbow City Police Chief Greg Carroll as well as the entertainment venue Center Stage, where the incident took place. The venue was named as they were the ones responsible for hiring such clearly out-of-control and abusive officers to handle security for the hip-hop concert.
The lawsuit seek damages specifically for the woman and her daughter suffering pain, emotional distress and incurring medical expenses. It further seeks punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
The attorney for the family, Gregory Harp, explained that “a taser was used three times on a child’s chest, during a medical emergency, while she was pinned to the ground by officers. Other officers present at the scene failed to intervene. Her mother was knocked to the ground, handcuffed, and then she herself Tased and arrested.”
AL.com reports “the incident happened at concert for hip-hop artist Kevin Gates at Center Stage. Earlier that day, the teenager suffered a grand mal seizure at her high school and was treated there but not taken to a hospital.”
The teen “sometimes exhibit loud vocalizations caused by the forceful exhalation of air from her lungs,” the suit explains.
This was triggered when the crowd movement created a momentary “stampede” that knocked the girl to the ground. As she was “trampled”, these seizures were triggered.
AL adds that, “This caused the crowd to part around the girl, and her younger sister informed employees of Center Stage that she was suffering a seizure.”
An employee then “picked her up and carried her to the lobby,” where she was then “unceremoniously dumped” onto the floor, with police putting her in a chokehold.
When the mother arrived to help her daughter, she was “held down on the ground at five different points of her body” by police.
Officers then immobilized her wrists, hands and fingers. She had committed no crime, but officers were ordered to “get her.” She was then tasered as well, causing her to involuntarily urinate.
Her daughter was “face down with her arms secured behind her,” and was tasered three times. Her mother was arrested for disorderly conduct.
Once they were at the hospital, the police officers mocked them and made jokes about the seizures, saying that the teen need to be “committed” to a “mental hospital.”
For his part, Gadsden City Attorney Lee Roberts had “no comment” on the suit.
Rainbow City Attorney Jim Turnbach said the suit would be “vigorously defended” by the city and police.
“The actions of the …defendants …were unjustified, unprovoked, and objectively unreasonable and constitute a violation of their rights under the Fourth Amendment and/or the Fourteenth Amendment to be free from the use of excessive force,” the lawsuit explains.
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