According to a recent report by WBTV, the police have been cleared of any wrongdoing for injuring teenager Tanisha Williams. Williams was taken into custody after she was arrested for shoplifting at a CitiTrends in west Charlotte. When Williams was placed in the back of the cruiser, she repeatedly beat her head against the window. She also wrapped a harness around her neck. As a result of her actions, Williams suffered severe brain damage and is now brain dead.
The Internal Affairs Division conducted an investigation into the conduct of the officers and concluded that they were not at fault. After the officers observed Williams banging her head against the window, they went to retrieve a restraining device from another police officer in the area. When the officers returned to the cruiser that Williams was in, she had stopped banging her head against the door and they did not need the restraining device. The report revealed that it only took Williams 13 seconds to wrap the harness around her neck. The officers did not see the harness at first because it was dark and because Williams’ hair was obscuring the officer’s view of the harness.
Officers asked Williams on several occasions if she was ok. Although she never responded, according to the officers she was still breathing when they asked her. When the officers discovered the harness, they immediately cut if off of her and Williams received appropriate medical attention. Williams is currently on life-support in the hospital and is receiving around-the-clock care.
Although an internal affairs investigation has cleared the officers involved, that does not mean that the family of the Tanisha Williams cannot still bring a suit against the officers and the police department for negligence. If the family can demonstrate that the police officers breached a duty that they owned to Williams, her family may be able to collect damages against the police officers and maybe even the police department.
Filing a lawsuit against police officers or an entire police department is a difficult process and should only be undertaken by experienced attorneys. The attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are skilled Charlotte personal injury attorneys and can assist with personal injury matters. Please call us today for a free consultation at 704-370-2828.
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