Woman sues City of Pineville, two police officers after being tased following 2021 traffic accident
Lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana on Dec. 6, 2022
PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - An Alexandria woman has filed a federal civil lawsuit against the City of Pineville and two of its police officers after a Dec. 9, 2021, traffic accident that resulted in her being tased.
The lawsuit was filed by attorney Jermaine Harris of the Jermaine Harris Law Firm LLC of Pineville on behalf of Patricia Robinson. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for Western District of Louisiana on Dec. 6, 2022, against the City of Pineville and officers Elizabeth Cameron and Codiak Thompson.
Harris claims that the defendants’ actions “constituted assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress, resulting in personal injury and damage to the plaintiff.” Robinson is seeking relief and a jury trial. The lawsuit notes that Robinson was 68-years-old at the time of the accident.
The lawsuit states that on Dec. 9, 2021, Cameron was dispatched to 1301 Melrose Street in Pineville for a traffic accident. Upon speaking to the people involved in the accident, Ashlyn Young and Robinson, Robinson was told that she was being cited for improper lane usage.
The lawsuit states that Robinson “agreed to accept the citation but refused to sign it because Plaintiff Robinson did not believe that she was at fault in the car accident.” Robinson, who made the initial 911 call, called the Pineville Police Department to request another officer to be sent to the scene, because she disagreed with the citation.
According to information provided in the lawsuit, Thompson arrived to the scene next, “and began yelling at Plaintiff Robinson to put her hands behind her back.” The lawsuit also states that “Defendant Cameron also began yelling at Plaintiff Robinson to put her hands behind her back and that Plaintiff Robinson was under arrest.”
According to Robinson’s attorney, Robinson put her hands up and Thompson put a handcuff on her left wrist.
“Defendant Cameron then began to forcefully twist Plaintiff Robinson’s right arm in an attempt to place Plaintiff Robinson’s arm behind her back. Plaintiff Robinson screamed and told the officers that she could not put her arms behind her back due to joint pain from arthritis.”
The lawsuit states that Robinson was read her rights, told that she was “resisting arrest,” and apparently told again to put her hands behind her back - which she claimed she told the officers again that she was unable to do because of her physical condition.
“Defendants Cameron and Thompson then slammed Plaintiff Robinson on the ground. Defendant Thompson put his knees on Plaintiff Robinson’s back applying pressure while Defendant Cameron pressed Plaintiff Robinson’s head on the ground trying to force Plaintiff Robinson’s arms behind her back.”
The lawsuit claims that Robinson told the officers that they “were hurting her and to please stop.” Robinson called for her son for help, who the lawsuit states is disabled, who was in the front passenger seat in her vehicle. Thompson told Robinson’s son to get back in the vehicle.
Harris noted in his lawsuit that Robinson uses a cane and a walker to move around.
“While on the ground, Plaintiff Robinson began to have severe shortness of breath. Plaintiff Robinson told Defendants Cameron and Thompson that she could not breathe and to please let her get up. However, Defendant Thompson continued to yell at Plaintiff Robinson with his knees in her back. Defendant Thompson told Plaintiff Robinson that if she did not stop resisting then he would strike her with a taser and then Defendant Thompson immediately tased Plaintiff Robinson.”
Harris stated in his lawsuit that Robinson “screamed and asked Defendant Thompson to stop but Defendant Thompson continued to press his knees into her back with Defendant Cameron still forcing Plaintiff Robinson’s arms behind her back.” Harris wrote in the lawsuit that Robinson was tased a second time.
“Plaintiff Robinson also begged the officers not to shoot her. Plaintiff Robinson, who was extremely terrified, began screaming at passing cars for help. Plaintiff told the officers that she would sign the citation but just please let her get up.”
Robinson was placed in the handcuffs and picked up from the ground. A third Pineville police officer arrived to the scene, who Harris mentioned in his lawsuit recognized Robinson as a school teacher. The third officer removed the handcuffs and allowed Robinson to be handcuffed with her arms in front instead of behind.
“Despite the injuries sustained by Plaintiff Robinson, instead of taking her to the hospital, Defendant Cameron transported her to the Pineville Police Department for booking. Once the paperwork was complete, Plaintiff Robinson was released from custody.”
Robinson went to the hospital with her husband for treatment. Harris wrote in his lawsuit that Robinson sustained “bilateral knee pain, left wrist pain, and back pain.” Robinson also “sustained pain to the posterior neck, left shoulder, and midline back.” Harris wrote that “puncture marks” from the taser were located in Robinson’s right lower back.
The lawsuit states that Robinson “now suffers from severe emotional distress, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.” She also suffers from “nightmares, as well as feelings of anger, guilt, and paranoia.” Robinson “is now fearful whenever she sees police officers or police cars.”
Harris told News Channel 5 that he plans to request any body camera and dash camera video through the discovery process. He said the resisting arrest charge has been continued without date.
News Channel 5 reached out to the City of Pineville for comment on the lawsuit. We received the following statement.
“We have not been made aware of this lawsuit. Because of potential litigation, we will not be able to comment.”
You can read the lawsuit below:
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