The family of a Georgia woman who tragically died after falling from a police car last year has filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking $100 million in damages.
The lawsuit alleges that officers from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office acted with gross negligence and employed excessive force, resulting in her untimely demise. Attorneys representing Brianna Grier’s family announced the legal action on Wednesday, as reported by NBC News and Fox 5 Atlanta.
According to attorney Ben Crump, the family had sought assistance from the police to ensure Brianna’s well-being and transport her to a hospital for necessary help. “They had called before asking them for help,” stated Crump, as mentioned by Fox 5.
Brianna, aged 28, tragically passed away on July 21, 2022, six days after falling out of the police patrol car. She had been taken into custody at a residence in Sparta after her mother contacted the police, informing them of Brianna’s schizophrenic episode, as reported by WMAZ.
After being handcuffed and placed in the back seat of the patrol car by sheriff’s deputies, she fell out of the vehicle. Police later determined that the rear passenger-side door had been left open, according to NBC News.
Body camera footage captured the immediate moments following Brianna’s fall from the car. “Since she was handcuffed, there was no breaking the fall,” explained Crump during the announcement of the lawsuit. “Her skull hit the road.”
Following the incident, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) concluded its investigation into the circumstances surrounding Brianna’s death, as stated in a news release. The GBI noted that the Ocmulgee Circuit District Attorney declined to present the case to a civil or criminal grand jury.
The lawsuit identifies Hancock County Sheriff Tomlyn Primus, Lt. Marlin Primus, and Deputy Timothy Legette as defendants. Mary Grier, Brianna’s mother, shared with the outlet that her grandchildren often inquire about their mother.
Fox 5 reported that Brianna left behind twin daughters who are now four years old. “I tell them the truth: She’s gone home to be with God,” said Mary. She added, “They knew her condition, they knew it. Because that wasn’t the first time they were coming down there. I don’t think they did her right. I miss my daughter.”