Bodycam footage of woman who died after falling out of police car

Body camera footage has been released showing the arrest of Brianna Grier, a 28-year-old woman who fell out of a moving police car while handcuffed and died after several days in a coma.

The footage was released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) on Friday. Two days earlier, the agency determined she fell out of a Hancock County sheriff’s deputy’s car after one of the doors was not properly closed.

Grier died on July 21 after spending six days in a coma following his arrest at his family’s home in Sparta, Georgia on the night of July 14-15.

She had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was experiencing a mental health crisis when her family called for help.

The footage appears to show two officers carrying an agitated and handcuffed Grier by the arms and legs towards the police car.

One of the officers appears to take a stun gun out of a holster, activate it, and hold it at his side. He does not direct it at Mrs. Grier.

“Stand up,” he says.

He puts the stun gun back and the two officers pick her up and put her in the back seat of the vehicle.

According to the GBI, Grier was placed in the vehicle with his hands handcuffed in front of his body. Seat belts were not used.

In the footage, the rear door on the driver’s side 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 Grier after she had been placed in the vehicle before she fell out.

After Grier fell out of the vehicle, the body camera footage shows the officer stop the car, get out and approach Grier, who at this point was lying face down in the grass on the side of the road, unresponsive.

The video shows the deputy patting her on the side and saying he’s going to call an ambulance. The footage also appears to show the second officer saying Grier is breathing. He tells her to sit up, but when there is no response from her, he brings her up to a sitting position, but she still seems unresponsive.

The passenger door of the vehicle Grier was placed in is open in the footage, prompting the second deputy to ask the first, “How is your back door open?”

Mrs Grier’s family is represented by civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, who also represented the family of George Floyd.

“Everybody knows that it’s not supposed to be possible to open a police vehicle from the back seat, especially when a person is handcuffed,” Crump said in a statement this week.

“Brianna’s family had faith that the police would get her the help she needed and now they are being forced to mourn her completely unnecessary death,” he added.

The GBI has said one of the officers had opened the side door when they attempted to place the woman in the vehicle.

The agency added that its investigation showed the officer believed he had closed it.

Mrs Grier’s family questions why she was detained. Earlier when she had struggled with her mental health, an ambulance had come to help, Crump said.

Marvin Grier, the 28-year-old’s father, said during a press conference on Friday that “we are trying to get answers to what really happened.”

“That was my child”, he added.

“Vehicle experts and the Georgia State Patrol also assisted with tests to determine if there were possible mechanical failures. In connection with these investigative actions, GBI agents concluded that Grier was placed in the back seat of the patrol car, handcuffed to the front of her body without a seat belt, the GBI statement says.

The GBI report also stated that Grier refused to cooperate with the officers and, while on the ground, allegedly said she was going to hurt herself.

“The deputy doors were closing the rear driver’s side door … the deputy thought he was closing the rear passenger side door,” the report said.

Speaking to the press on Friday, Crump mentioned Ms Grier’s three-year-old twin daughters.

“What this is really about is Maria and Mariah, who are going to grow up without their mother,” he said.

“A person who has a mental health crisis … you can’t hold them accountable for their actions,” especially “if they have a documented history of mental health crises,” he added.

“Brianna’s family had faith that the police would get her the help she needed, and now they are forced to mourn her completely unnecessary death,” Crump’s statement said.

After her death on July 21, the GBI said that “Grier was arrested at the home” and that “while deputies were taking Grier to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, Grier fell out of a patrol car and suffered significant injuries”.

She died at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta from injuries 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 taken to an Atlanta hospital after suffering a head injury.

The sheriff told the parents that Grier had kicked open one of the car doors, WMAZ reported at the time. She suffered two skull fractures, putting her in a coma.

Before her death, Mrs. 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 and get her”.

“I broke down and cried,” said Mary Grier, referring to the moment she saw her daughter in a coma.

The 28-year-old’s father told WMAZ they were told she had kicked open the door and “jumped” out of the vehicle.

Mary Grier told the local station at the time that she was skeptical of that version of events.

“If she got out of the car, they should 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 have been opened from the outside.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.