WEST MEMPHIS, ARK. — Police in Arkansas are being accused of violently arrested Shawnda Brookshire, a grieving African American mother whose four-year old daughter had just died. Brookshire was outside crying in a hotel parking lot when police approached her, and she refused to identify herself.
A dashcam video of the incident shows the police approaching Brookshire in the parking lot of a La Quinta Inn & Suites hotel. The police ask for her identification while she can be seen telling them that she must get her ID from her hotel room.
Brookshire was also trying to contact her family to help her when the police started arresting her. When her brother Richard Brookshire, arrived, she was already handcuffed on the ground with a police officer pushing her on her back with his knee.
Richard Brookshire shared the incident on Twitter. He said his sister was taking some calls outside about the funeral arrangements for her daughter who just died from a tragic accident. In fact, she was talking to the girl’s father when the police approached her.
Meanwhile, Assistant Chief Robert Langston said that officers went to check the parking lot because there have been reported break-ins in the area.
“I understand she was under a great deal of stress and I have never been in the situation that she’s in. I can’t speak for her,” Langston told WREG. “I can understand the stress that she was dealing with, and that the family was dealing with, but our officers don’t know that. They don’t know what the family is going through. We’re there to really to protect their property.”
However, when Brookshire asked the hotel staff about it, they found out that there have been no break-ins for over a month. They were disappointed that the police immediately put her on handcuffs and did not verify with the front desk first.
The mother was eventually released with no charges and the police officers will not face any disciplinary action. Her family has since filed a complaint against the officers and was demanding an apology.
The family has also set up a GoFundMe for the funeral arrangements of Brookshire’s late daughter. It has so far raised over $26,000.
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