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Brianna Grier, 28, was en route to a sheriff’s department in Georgia on July 15 when she fell out of a moving cruiser. She slipped into a coma and died a week later.
The family of a Black woman in Georgia who died after falling out of a police car has filed a lawsuit alleging claims including wrongful death, gross negligence, and excessive force.
According to NBC News, the lawsuit announced Wednesday names Hancock County Sheriff Tomlyn Primus, Lt. Marlin Primus, and Deputy Timothy Legette in last year’s death of Brianna Grier.
Grier, 28, was en route to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department on July 15 when she fell out of a moving patrol cruiser. She slipped into a coma and died on July 21, a week later.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation determined that the deputy left the back passenger door open when the automobile departed.
The reaction of a second deputy, who asked the driver, “How’s your back door open?” was captured on body camera video and made public by the authorities.
Grier’s family said she had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was on medication for it. She reportedly was experiencing a mental health episode that day, prompting her family in Sparta — about 60 miles west of Augusta — to call the police for help, as they had done before. In the past, however, an ambulance arrived, the family said.
“They knew her condition, they knew it,” Grier’s mother, Mary Grier, said Wednesday, according to NBC. “Because that wasn’t the first time they were coming down there.”
Grier’s relatives and authorities said deputies arrived and arrested her, placing her in handcuffs and putting her in the back of a police vehicle.
“I don’t think they did her right,” Mary Grier added. “I miss my daughter.”
In November, the GBI declared that its investigation was closed, and the Ocmulgee Circuit district attorney decided against presenting a case before a grand jury. There have been no criminal charges filed against the officers involved.
The civil complaint does not state a dollar sum for the compensatory or punitive damages sought.
“This young, beautiful Black woman needed help,” family attorney Ben Crump said, NBC reported. “The police came and put her in handcuffs.”
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