Police brutality can take many forms. We’re all familiar with the violent side of police brutality thanks to the publicized incidents of unnecessary police shootings and the riots in Ferguson last year. But there are more subtle forms of police brutality that can have lifelong effects.
A mother from Alabama is facing these effects along with her child. She is suing the Franklin, TN police department in federal court for their actions in an incident that happened in April 2016.
The mother was pulled over for allegedly speeding and not following the officer’s directions. She was going to be detained, but she had two toddlers with her at the time. The mother allowed the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services to take temporary custody of the children, because she thought she wouldn’t be detained long.
Unfortunately, this proved to be a tragic mistake. Officers ended up charging her with reckless endangerment of children due to how the children were restrained in the car. They also denied her phone access for the fourteen days she was detained. Her children were placed into foster care and she lost her job for being in jail for two weeks.
Worse, one of the children, a 2-year-old, received significant burns at the station. The child played with a hot water dispenser in a police break room. He was taken to the hospital, but the mother didn’t even know this took place until she was out of jail.
The mother believes that her children were fast-tracked into the foster care system due to exaggeration from the police. Thankfully, the children have been turned over to the custody of their father back in Alabama. However, the mother is still being denied custody and is still fighting her traffic charges.
She is seeking $2.5 million in damages from the police department for her treatment.
If these allegations are true, it reflects very poorly on that police department. Even if all of the charges against her are upheld in court, they need to explain why the child was allowed to get significant burns when they were supposed to take care of him. That is pure negligence on the part of the state of Tennessee. They should compensate the parents for allowing such an awful incident to happen.
Additionally, the mother should have been notified right away. She trusted the Department of Children’s Services to look after her children. To wait until after she was released from jail to tell her what happened could have been psychologically damaging.
People who are detained or are in jail awaiting trial still have rights. When police violate these rights they should be held accountable. If the officers felt that the mother was a danger to her child, that evidence should have been presented in court, not done behind her back.
If you were mistreated while in police custody, you need to speak with a police brutality lawyer. The Cochran Firm has defend victims of police brutality in court for decades. Call us today, for a free consultation.