A woman who suffered a broken orbital bone in her face and other injuries during her arrest on a DUI charge was the victim of police brutality, her lawyer said.
Christina West, 44, was arrested in the early morning hours of Aug. 10 by officers with the Tallahassee Police Department after she crashed her vehicle into a house on Kilkenny Drive, according to police reports.
A dashboard camera inside a TPD vehicle captured the arrest on video, which was obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat. The video shows West’s head being slammed against a police car before she is taken forcefully to the ground.
“I was shocked to see this,” said her attorney, Fred Conrad of Tallahassee. “I would never have expected that out of my police department. By and large, most of my officers that I deal with at the Tallahassee Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office are all professional and good cops, folks that I would feel very comfortable with in the event that I needed them as a citizen. This was disturbing. I could not believe that I saw that happening in Tallahassee, Florida.”
Conrad said he intends to pursue compensation for West, though he didn’t explicitly say he would be filing a lawsuit.
“I can say I intend to pursue just compensation for Ms. West,” he said. “And I can say I intend to do it relentlessly. I intend to make the police department pay for this. This is wrong. And they need to pay for it.”
Conrad said the video raises concerns about officer training at TPD.
"I question the type of training and policies in place at TPD that would lead officers to believe this type of behavior is acceptable," he said, "especially in front of two sergeants who were only a few feet away."
Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox says the city could be facing a "substantial" lawsuit involving a 44-year-old woman who was subjected to use of force by police officers during a DUI-related arrest.
The incident happened in the early morning of Aug. 10, when Tallahassee police officers responded to a woman who reportedly drove her car off the road and into a home in Killearn. The woman, Christina West, was arrested on a charge of DUI and several counts of battery on a law-enforcement officer.