A Black woman is suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for violating her civil rights while arresting her while she was naked at her home in 2019, NBC Los Angeles reports.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous due to the nature of the arrest, has filed a lawsuit using the name "Jane Doe." In the lawsuit, she states deputies entered her home searching for her brother who was being arrested around the same time at a different location for an assault case.
"They were looking for someone who wasn't there," the woman's attorney, Brian Dunn, said.
She said officials were negligent, conducted an unreasonable search of her home while she was in the shower and arrested her while she was naked and menstruating.
#ICYMI Black woman in #Lancaster forced outside naked while on period by #LACounty sheriffs. Deputies claim they had a warrant for her brother--but he was already in custody in #SouthLA. They also made her 13 y/o sister go outside w/out a shirt on. 🤬 #LASD #BlackWomen pic.twitter.com/O1f3vSZ1fd— Jasmyne Cannick (@Jasmyne) July 13, 2020
"I'm telling him I'm not dressed and to wait a minute," she said. The deputy, "said no and opened the door."
In the lawsuit, she also accuses the deputies of committing battery and inflicting emotional distress.
"The above conduct of the individual defendants was outrageous, and undertaken with reckless disregard of the probability that plaintiffs would suffer severe emotional distress," the lawsuit states.
She said the arrest took place in front of her younger sister and son on July 25, 2019. Her sister recorded a video of the situation, which showed four deputies demanding the woman to walk down her stairs naked.
"They tied me up, I was dragged across my grass, keep in mind, I was on my menstrual period," she told NBC LA. "I'm completely undressed, on my front yard."
The woman said she is in "complete shock" and thinks the deputies "should be held accountable for their actions."
The LACSD has refused to comment on the situation, citing the ongoing lawsuit.
"Due to pending litigation, the Department is unable to comment," officials said in a written statement on Thursday.
Lawyers for the county, however, have denied the woman's claims surrounding the arrest.
Dunn said there was no threat to public safety and no valid reason for the deputies' use of force.
"There was too much aggression and not enough compassion," Dunn said.
The lawyer said there was not a female deputy present at the time of the arrest and that his client was inappropriately touched, searched and handled.
Despite the woman's arrest, court documents revealed the brother's arrest was fruitless because the L.A. County District Attorney's Office declined to press charges due to lack of evidence.
According to NBC LA, "no independent witnesses" and "suspect denies" were listed as reasons why the case was rejected.