Lawsuit: woman forced to strip naked, denied clothing for hours by police
A jail in New Albany, IN is facing a lawsuit after video surveillance of several police officers’ treatment of a woman in their custody was released.
According to attorney Laura Landenwich, her client Tabitha Gentry was stripped naked and left for hours after Gentry was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting law enforcement. Landenwich does not believe that Gentry’s experience at the Floyd County jail is unique. The Floyd Country Sheriff claims that they acted properly.
[Landenwich] reviewed the video with WDRB in her downtown Louisville office on Thursday. “This is 4:07 a.m., and this is an Indiana State Police officer that picked her up,” she explained.
Gentry had been arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting law enforcement.
“Almost immediately upon entering the jail, she’s assaulted by four officers. They grab her around the neck, they grab her body,” Landenwich said. The video shows officers then taking Gentry to what’s called the padded room.
“They hold her down,” Landenwich said. “There are two male officers and two female officers and they forceably remove her pants, her shoes, her underwear and her shirt and bra.
“Terrified and humiliated, she’s banging on the door asking someone to give her her clothing and someone comes to the door and says, ‘If you don’t shut up, I’m going to pepper spray you,’ and sure enough, they open the door, spray pepper spray into the room and they leave — and they leave her in there for 40 minutes, naked, in a cell filled with pepper spray.”
Landenwich says Gentry was then handcuffed and taken to wash out her eyes.
“She has a blanket draped over her shoulders, she’s paraded through the booking area in full view of anyone who happened to be there,” Landenwich said.
Gentry apparently lay naked for 5 more hours before being given a jumpsuit.
Landenwich intends to file the lawsuit next week.
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