Original Case Details
A Southfield Woman, Crystal White, was confronted by police when a concerned relative of White had called the Southfield Police Department due to White allegedly acting aggressively while holding a knife. White was attempting to take her daughter, who is six years old, even though her parental rights had been terminated previously. White was 12-weeks pregnant at the time of the incident. The relative who called the police informed them that White suffers from multiple mental illnesses. White did not have a knife in her possession when the police arrived, but apparently did not listen to directions from the police about advancing on them. White’s version of events differs from the police, as she claims that an officer lunged forward to punch her in the face, while another officer pulled his taser and hit her in the stomach. White was tasered two times during the struggle, once in the arm and once in the leg. She was taken into custody after the taser was deployed. About six weeks after the taser was used on White, she miscarried, losing her unborn child. White also suffered cuts and bruises, along with broken and damaged teeth from the incident. White’s lawsuit alleges that she would have been treated differently if she were not black and lived in an affluent area.
George Floyd Fallout
The world is now viewing police conduct and misconduct through a different lens these days due to the horrific murder of George Floyd caught on camera for the world to see. This case differs due to the fact that the entire incident was not caught on camera. The video of the actual arrest and confrontation was blocked by a car parked in front of the police car which was equipped with cameras. Some audio and video were available to help illustrate what happened, but the video leaves much of the incident to imagination. Police officers maintain that they were not informed that White was pregnant, while White maintains that she lifted her dress to show the officers that she was pregnant before she was ultimately tasered. Police claim that White lifted her dress in an effort to show that she was unarmed. This issue will be central to the case as the full video does not exist. The police officers were not equipped with body cameras, as Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barren said that body cameras have been delivered to the department, but due to COVID-19, they will not be in place until August. No charges were ultimately filed against White for resisting arrest or any other crime.
White has filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the Southfield Police Department, naming officers A. Rucinski, J. Woodside, and M. Fair for their roles in the confrontation that led to White being tasered and ultimately losing her baby. This was a call for a mental health check that horribly went wrong and resulted in an irreversible loss. White is seeking $75,000 for her injuries and the loss of her unborn child. The officers have qualified immunity as their main protection from lawsuits related to their alleged misconduct while on duty. Southfield Police have maintained that their officers did nothing wrong, and Southfield Police Chief Barren has firmly stood behind his officers in support of their actions.
Any Further Questions?
If you or a loved one has been the victim of police brutality, then it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Grabel & Associates, our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience in successfully defending criminal cases all over the state of Michigan. This experience extends not only to adult cases, but also to juvenile charges. We are not a general practice firm. We are a team of criminal defense attorneys; it’s all we do. We offer a FREE consultation to anyone with questions relating to a possible or existing criminal charge against them or a loved one. Feel free to contact us on our 24/7 defense line at 1-800-342-7896. You can also contact us online or come visit us at one of our three statewide locations. We can also come to you.