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Jun 11, 2014|
Police officers in the US state of Indiana have force-stripped a woman, pepper-sprayed her, and then left her locked up without clothes for more than five hours.
New Albany woman Tabitha Gentry is preparing a Federal lawsuit following her March ordeal in which she allegedly was also paraded by police through a local jail after being arrested on a couple of minor charges, US media reported on Tuesday.
Last week, the woman provided video footage of her incarceration to WDRB television channel that shows her in the prison cell with two male and two female officers taking her to what the jail called a “padded room”.
“Almost immediately upon entering the jail, she’s assaulted by four officers. They grab her around the neck, they grab her body,” said Laura Landenwich, the attorney representing the woman. “They hold her down… There are two male officers and two female officers and they forcibly 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 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, 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,”
Eventually, Gentry was allowed to use a small blanket and 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,” the attorney added.
The woman is then forced to stay in the cell naked for five more hours, she stated.
“Now this is a woman, who under our system of law, is innocent until proven guilty,” Landenwich emphasized. “She’s charged and she’s charged with a misdemeanor crime that’s not a violent crime.”