Body camera footage has emerged showing the arrest of Brianna Grier, a 28-year-old woman who fell from a moving police car while handcuffed and died after several days in a coma.
The footage was released Friday by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). Two days earlier, the agency determined that she fell from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy’s car after one of the doors was not properly closed.
Ms Grier died on July 21 after spending six days in a coma following her arrest at the family home in Sparta, Georgia on the night of July 14-15.
She had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was going through a mental health crisis when her family called for help.
The footage appears to show two officers carrying an upset and handcuffed Ms Grier by the arms and legs to the police cruiser.
One of the officers appears to pull a stun gun from a holster, activate it, and hold it to his side. He’s not pointing it at Ms. Grier.
“Get up,” he said.
He puts the stun gun down and the two officers retrieve it and put it in the backseat of the vehicle.
According to the GBI, Ms. Grier was placed in the vehicle with her hands cuffed in front of her body. No seat belt was used.
In the footage, the rear driver’s side door of the car appears to be closed with Ms Grier inside.
The GBI added that none of the officers, who were in separate cars, spoke to Ms Grier after she was placed in the vehicle until she fell.
After Ms Grier fell from the vehicle, body camera footage shows the officer stopping the car, getting out and approaching Ms Grier, who at this point was lying face down in the grass on the edge of the road. road, without answering.
The video shows the deputy patting her on the side, saying he’s going to call an ambulance. The footage also appears to show the other officer saying Ms Grier is breathing. He tells her to sit down, but when there is no response from her, he puts her in a sitting position, but she still seems unresponsive.
The passenger door of the vehicle Ms Grier was placed in is opened in the footage, prompting the other deputy to ask the first: “How is your back door open?”
Ms Grier’s family is represented by civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, who has also represented the family of George Floyd.
“Everyone knows that it is not supposed to be possible to open a police vehicle from the back seat, especially when a person is handcuffed,” Mr. Crump said in a statement this week.
“Brianna’s family trusted law enforcement to get her the help she needed, and now they are forced to mourn her completely unnecessary death,” he added.
The GBI said one of the officers opened the side door when they tried to get the woman into the vehicle.
The agency added that their investigation revealed that the officer believed he had closed it.
Ms. Grier’s family wonder why she was detained. In the past, when she had mental health issues, an ambulance had arrived to help her, Mr Crump said.
Marvin Grier, the 28-year-old’s father, told a news conference on Friday that “we’re trying to get answers about what really happened.”
“He was my child,” he added.
“Automotive experts and the Georgia State Patrol also participated in tests to determine if there were any mechanical malfunctions. Along with these investigative acts, GBI officers concluded that Grier had been placed on the back seat of the patrol car, handcuffed to the front of her body without a seat belt,” the GBI statement read.
The GBI report also said Ms Grier refused to cooperate with officers and allegedly said she was going to harm herself while on the ground.
“Deputies closed the driver’s side rear door…the deputy thought he had closed the passenger side rear door,” the report said.
Speaking to the press on Friday, Mr Crump mentioned Ms Grier’s three-year-old twin daughters.
“What it’s really about is Maria and Mariah, who are going to have to grow up without their mother,” he said.
“A person having a mental health crisis…you can’t hold them accountable for their actions,” particularly “if they have a documented history of mental health crises,” he added.
“Brianna’s family trusted law enforcement to get her the help she needed, and now they are forced to mourn her completely unnecessary death,” Mr Crump’s statement read.
After his death on July 21, the GBI said “Grier was arrested at home” and that “as deputies were taking Grier to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, Grier fell from a patrol car and was suffered serious injuries.”
She died at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta from injuries she sustained in the fall.
Ms Grier’s parents, Mary and Marvin Grier, were visited by Hancock County Sheriff Terrell Primus, who told them that Ms Grier had been airlifted to hospital in Atlanta after sustaining an injury to her the head.
The sheriff told the parents that Ms. Grier opened one of the car doors, WMAZ reported at the time. She suffered two skull fractures, leaving her in a coma.
Before her death, Ms Grier’s mother said WMAZ that if she “had known it was going to be like this, God knows I wouldn’t have called them to come get her”.
“I broke down and cried,” Mary Grier said, referring to the moment she saw her daughter in a coma.
The 28-year-old’s father told WMAZ they were told she kicked the door open and “jumped” out of the vehicle.
Mary Grier told the local station at the time that she was skeptical of this version of events.
“If she got out of the car, they must have let her out of the car,” she said. “That’s my interpretation because in a police car you can’t open the door from the inside, so it had to be opened from the outside.”
The Independent Gt