The Georgia Bureau of Investigation released video on Friday showing how a mentally-ill woman was fatally-injured after she fell out the back door of a moving cop car while handcuffed.
The incident occurred on July 15 in Sparta, Georgia, 100 miles southeast of Atlanta.
Brianna Grier, 28, spent seven days in a coma due to brain trauma before succumbing to her injuries at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.
Her family called the Hancock County Sheriff’s office for help as Grier, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, was in the midst of a mental health episode.
The sheriff’s deputies entered the home and eventually took apprehended Grier and accused her of resisting arrest.
Grier’s family are being represented by prominent civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, and it remains unclear how she was able to fall out the back door of a car that is supposed to be locked.
Brianna Grier, 28, spent seven days in a coma due to brain trauma before succumbing to her injuries at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta
After Grier fell from the car she was unresponsive to the arresting officers who asked her repeatedly to sit up
Grier, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, was in the midst of a mental health episode when her family called 911
According to WMAZ, the sheriff’s deputies wrote in their report that Grier kicked them prior to her falling from the car
The distressing video begins showing Grier yelling at the sheriff’s deputies, resisting being taken into custody.
At one point Grier tells the deputies: ‘You see if I don’t hang myself when I get in there.’
During the incident, Grier also tells the officers that she isn’t drunk and demands that they breathalyze her.
She said: ‘I’m not drunk, I haven’t had anything to drink. I haven’t had anything to drink.’
The woman can also be heard saying: ‘I ain’t broke no law’ and ‘Get off me.’
Ben Crump, who is representing the family, said that Grier suffered a fractured skull after falling from the car
Grier was the mother two twin 3-year-old daughters, Mariah and Maria
According to WMAZ, the sheriff’s deputies wrote in their report that Grier kicked them.
Before hauling Grier into the car, a sheriff’s deputy removes his stun gun from his holster and activates it. The deputy tells Grier to ‘get up.’ He holstered his stun gun and then picked up the woman with the help of his partner and places her in the car.
According to officials in Georgia, the mother-of-two was handcuffed with her hands in front of her and she was not wearing a seat belt.
Grier had twin 3-year-old daughters, Maria and Mariah.
The GBI said in a statement on Wednesday: ‘To put Grier in the patrol car, one of the deputies walked around and opened the rear passenger side door.’
It continued: ‘The investigation shows that the deputy thought he closed the rear passenger side door. The deputies left the scene and drove a short distance.’
Off camera, one deputy asks the other if the passenger side door is closed, the other replies ‘Yes.’
The video goes on to show that the two deputies were in different cars.
The driver of the car that Grier was in has been identified as Deputy Timothy Legette.
The door was opened by the other deputy at the scene named as Lt. Martin Primus. His brother is Hancock County Sheriff Tomlyn ‘Terrell’ Primus.’
After driving for a short distance, Grier fell out of the car. The deputy stops and finds Grier, face-down and unresponsive, on a grassy area close to the wall.
The deputy checks on her and says he’s going to call an ambulance. The other deputy says that Grier is breathing and tells her to get up. She never responds.
Grier remains unresponsive as one of the deputies sits her up. Legette says at this point: ‘She jumped out the car.’
One of the sheriff’s deputy’s cars is seen to be open. The other deputy asks: ‘How’s your back door open?’
In a press conference following the release of the video, Ben Crump said: ‘Everybody knows that it is not supposed to be possible to open a police vehicle from the back seat, especially when a person is in handcuffs.’
He continued: ‘Brianna’s family had faith in law enforcement to get her the help she needed, and now they are being forced to grieve her completely unnecessary death.’
Crump speaks at a news conference on July 29 in Decatur, Georgia, regarding the death of Grier
Crump joining Grier’s family in prayer following their July 29 press conference
Crump also said: ‘Yet again, we have another African American citizen killed in just an unbelievable way while in the custody of the police.’
The attorney said that Grier fractured her skull when she fell. He said that the family will conduct their own autopsy when her body is released to them.
At the same press conference, Grier’s father, Marvin Grier said: ‘We’re trying to get answers of what really happened. That was my child. That was my child.’
Also present at the press conference, were Grier’s mother and sister, Mary and Lottie Grier.
Earlier in the conference, Marvin Grier said when they called 911 before, ambulances arrived to treat the deceased woman. She was on medication at the time of her death.
He said: ‘When they used to come out to the house they’d call an ambulance service. The ambulance service would come out and they would take her to the hospital to get some help.’
Crump added: ‘But this time they only called the police, and the police didn’t bring the ambulance with them, even though, Ms. Mary (Brianna’s mom) clearly stated she was having an episode.’
Since Grier’s death, protests have occurred in the town of Sparta. On Wednesday Sheriff Primus addressed a group who descended on his department’s offices in the town.
He told them: ‘A lot of people have already drawn their own conclusions. Some people already feel as though we have things to hide. But we do not have anything to hide. The video footage will show evidence based on what has been stated already,’ according to the Union-Recorder.