Arkansas Police Handcuff A Grieving Black Mom Slams Her To The Ground, Days After Her Baby Died…

Earlier this month, a moth­er who was griev­ing the trag­ic and shock­ing loss of her 4‑year-old child, found her­self lying face down in the park­ing lot of a hotel as Arkansas police hand­cuffed her.

According to Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Monday, Shawnda Brookshire, whose daugh­ter Nia died in an Interstate 40 wreck two days ear­li­er, was released by author­i­ties with­out being arrest­ed or charged, after a 20-minute show­down that cul­mi­nat­ed in her being pulled to the ground and threat­ened with a taser.

My fam­i­ly and I flew to Arkansas to be with my sis­ter yes­ter­day, we checked in to the hotel after spend­ing the day get­ting clothes for my 4‑year old niece’s body today,” her broth­er, Richard Brookshire, the Director of Digital Strategy at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, post­ed on Facebook. “We were exhaust­ed, had just left the funer­al home where my sis­ter and I had seen my niece’s body for the first time and had come to the hotel to get some rest.”

My sis­ter need­ed to get some fresh air after such an emo­tion­al day and was out­side speak­ing on the phone when ran­dom offi­cers rolled up flash­ing lights in her face. She showed them her hotel key and they got out of the car and asked for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. She said her ID was inside,” he con­tin­ued. “She asked the police what she was doing wrong, they sur­round­ed her. She imme­di­ate­ly called me and my moth­er on the phone and yelled that she need­ed help.”

Brookshire then goes on to share a gut-wrench­ing tale about how he, his moth­er and his legal­ly blind aunt all plead­ed with author­i­ties to show mer­cy on the woman whose child had just died the day before.

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HELP: Yesterday, my niece was killed in a trag­ic acci­dent, hun­dreds of miles from home. As my fam­i­ly begins to grieve, a mere 7 days ahead of what was sup­posed to be her fifth birth­day — we need help cov­er­ing the costs of her funer­al arrange­ments.

In response to the family’s expla­na­tion, “the cops said there had been car bur­glar­ies in the area days pri­or and that they were arrest­ing my sis­ter under that sus­pi­cion because she was out­side pac­ing back and forth on her phone (talk­ing to my dead niece’s father). Her fail­ure to pro­vide I.D. when asked was enough for them to place her in hand­cuffs even when they sim­ply could have gone to the front desk and ver­i­fied that she was in fact a guest at the hotel.”

What makes this sto­ry even more dis­grace­ful is that after the fam­i­ly went pub­lic, the West Memphis Police Department imme­di­ate­ly tried to cov­er up the inci­dent and pro­tect the actions of its offi­cers.

I think it’s impor­tant to note that the West Memphis PD have already begun to spin/​manipulate the sto­ry with dis­hon­est recounts – fail­ing to release body cam footage, hav­ing released dash­board audio with one minute redact­ed and delet­ing their pub­lic state­ment on the mat­ter after push­back for its inac­cu­ra­cy and cal­lous­ness,” Brookshire shared while speak­ing to theGrio.

On the released audio, an offi­cer can be heard jok­ing that the woman’s hood­ie alone was prob­a­ble cause for the stop, and he spec­u­lat­ed about how he expect­ed a ruckus once her broth­er showed up, stat­ing, “Damn, her broth­er, too – I thought it was about to be on, son.”

In an attempt to hide their lack of com­pas­sion, Brookshire alleges author­i­ties also, “false­ly stat­ed in a local news inter­view that they’d not been informed of the death,” but says, “my sis­ter tells them clear­ly her daugh­ter died, and showed her hotel key to prove she was a guest at the hotel and asked to be left alone because she’d done noth­ing wrong in the first 2 min­utes of being con­front­ed.”

They also only released hotel video footage from a cam­era far­thest from the scene in order to avoid releas­ing footage from the cam­era direct­ly above the encounter, which will dis­pute their nar­ra­tive about not slam­ming my sis­ter to the ground and plac­ing their knee on her shoulder/​neck/​back,” he con­clud­ed.

Brookshire says the fam­i­ly plans to file a for­mal com­plaint, but at the moment their main con­cern is bury­ing his niece. Her funer­al is on Monday, just one day after what would have been her 5th birth­day. A GoFundMe has been set up for those seek­ing to pro­vide finan­cial assis­tance to the fam­i­ly dur­ing this incred­i­bly dif­fi­cult time.