Video: Cops Detain Grieving Mother in West Memphis, Arkansas

A grieving mother found herself in handcuffs and in the back of a police car after she was stopped by West Memphis police officers at a La Quinta Inn and Suites parking lot in Arkansas, according to Black News.

On Nov. 17, surveillance video from the hotel and police dashcam footage showed Shawnda Brookshire pacing in the parking lot as she talked on her cellphone. She reportedly was attempting to make funeral arrangements for her 4-year-old daughter Nia, who was killed in a tragic accident on Interstate 40 the previous day, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

A West Memphis patrol SUV pulled into the parking lot of the La Quinta Inn and Suites located at 1550 N. 6th Street in West Memphis, Ark.

Dashcam video showed police officers approaching the grieving woman and asking her for identification at about 9:45 p.m. She told them to turn their cameras on, and the officers confirmed that the camera was already recording.

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She informed them that she had to retrieve her ID from her hotel room. An unidentified officer then asked to see her room key. Though there’s no audio on the video for nearly a minute, officers claimed that Brookshire began to walk away from them immediately after they asked to see her room key. The footage indicated that she backed away slightly after one cop grabbed her as she tried to comply with the request.

As the situation escalated, Brookshire informed the men that she had just lost her daughter. They never acknowledged her loss. However, the cops insisted that they were trying to figure out what was going on because there had been a rash of car break-ins in the area. The passive-aggressive interaction from the men appeared to trigger the grieving mother further as she had already explained what happened.

Warning: The following videos contain graphic language.

Both parties can be heard screaming at one another as she called her mother, who was inside the hotel, for help because the officers threatened to take her to jail for disorderly conduct. Eventually, the officers wrestled Brookshire to the ground and handcuffed her as she continued screaming.

Her family came outside to help and saw the bereaved woman on the ground. They also began to yell at the officers and one of them pulled out his taser, yelling at them to stop. The family complied and the officer put the taser away. Brookshire was placed inside of the patrol vehicle while officers spoke with the outraged family members.

After the family threatened to call their attorney, the officers released Brookshire.

Richard Brookshire, Shawnda’s brother, recounted the horrifying incident via his Twitter account.

Richard Brookshire, who is the co-founder of the “The Black Vet Project,” said that the hotel told the family that there had not been any vehicle break-ins in more than a month.

The family is demanding an apology.

West Memphis Police Department Assistant Chief Robert Langston told WREG that the officers were doing their jobs and will not face any disciplinary action.

“I understand she was under a great deal of stress and I have never been in the situation that she’s in,” Langston said. “I can’t speak for her. I can understand the stress that she was dealing with, and that the family was dealing with, but our officers don’t know that. They don’t know what the family is going through. We’re there really to protect their property.”

In Arkansas, a person can be arrested if they fail to identify themselves to police officers, according to a state statute.

Langston may feel like there was no misconduct but the Brookshire family plans on filing a lawsuit, according to NBC News.



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