Released footage shows Miami-Dade police violently arresting a double amputee after she fell out of her wheelchair and refusing to help her up.
According to ABC News, a concerned bystander recorded the arrest of Mary Brown, who was sitting in her wheelchair at a local gas station. (Brown’s legs have been amputated past her knees.) Apparently, the police were called to escort Brown off the property because she was allegedly trespassing and panhandling at a Chevron gas station on Dec. 3—a claim that Brown denies.
And while it appears that Brown refused to leave or get into the police car, the disturbing video shows that the punishment doesn’t seem to fit the crime. One can hear Brown crying for help as the two officers tried to handcuff her.
“Stop hurting me,” she yells out.
Then Brown falls to the ground and the police handcuff the 52-year-old diabetic woman from there.
“Would you get me up off this ground?” she subsequently asked.
In recently released police body cam footage, during the handcuffing attempt, an officer can be heard saying to Brown, “Whatchu gonna do? You’re gonna hit me? Are you gonna hit me?” The other officer replies, “I think that’s what she was trying to do.“
Shortly after, Brown can be seen falling off her wheelchair to the ground. Brown’s lawyer Mark DiGowan said they left her “laying on the ground in pain” for at least five minutes. She was later sent to jail in an ambulance and released the next day.
Brown told 7 Miami News that she deserved to be treated better by the police.
“Just because I don’t have legs to move about like everyone else, I still was in my chair, and I deserved some respect,” “I asked for help, help, help, over and over again. No one came.” she said.
Jay King, who took the video, said the officers should’ve helped Brown up.
“It doesn’t have to go that far to where you can’t at least pick her up off the floor,” King said. “No matter what she did, it wasn’t that bad.”
Miami-Dade Police released a statement after reviewing the footage: [We] realize that as an agency we need to provide our law enforcement officers additional resources to aid them in facilitating the transport of disabled individuals, so that situations such as these are handled in a more amicable manner in the future.”
But DiGowan dismisses the police’s excuses.
“They certainly should not have waited to train their officers,” he said. “Ms. Brown was stripped of her dignity. She has never experienced something like this in her entire life. This was obviously a living nightmare for her.”
And Brown says she is considering suing.
“I’m very sad. I was treated very wrong,” she said, “and very poorly.”