SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Southfield police are responding to a lawsuit filed by a woman who said that police brutality caused her to lose her unborn baby.
Video shows the chaotic between the woman and the officers who were responding to a complaint about her.
According to the lawsuit, on Jan. 9 Crystal White, 38, of Southfield, was involved in a verbal altercation with her mother, sister and brother-in-law at her mother’s residence. Her sister called Southfield police to report a domestic dispute.
Southfield police said White lifted her dress to show she was unarmed and then struck an officer who hit her back. That’s when White was Tased.
Geoffrey Fieger is White’s attorney, she is suing Southfield police for excessive force. According to the lawsuit, White was pregnant at the time of the arrest and lost her unborn child. Fieger said he believes race played a role in the rough arrest.
“I don’t believe that if this was in Bloomfield Hills a pregnant White woman would be Tased on a welfare check,” Fieger said.
Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barren vehemently disagrees with that narrative.
“When you suggest that we would knowingly Tase a pregnant woman, when you suggest we would base our decisions on how we interact based on race, that’s appalling to me,” Barren said.
Barren said White was trying to take her 6-year-old daughter from the home. She is not the child’s guardian.
White’s family told dispatchers that she suffers from mental health issues and at one point had grabbed a knife, according to Barren.
“Mrs. White’s sister called 911 to report that Mrs. White was trying to attack her. By their own observations of behavior the officers made a decision to take her for mental evaluation,” Barren said.
“Nobody objectively would think it’s necessary to punch a girl in the face knock her down is beyond me,” Fieger said.