Cops really have no business answering mental health calls, especially those that involve Black people. They just don’t seem to know how to do anything but be cops—if they can even do that right.
Earlier this month, 28-year-old Brianna Grier of Hancock County, Georgia, died after being in a coma from an encounter with police that somehow ended with her falling out of a police cruiser. Her family told 13 WMAZ that she had been diagnosed with schizophrenia around a decade ago and they called 911 after she came home sometime between July 14 and 15 suffering from a schizophrenic episode.
Grier’s father, Marvin Grier, said it wasn’t the first time he and his wife had to call 911 to get their daughter the assistance she needs. But in the past, ambulances were sent. This time, two Hancock County sheriff’s deputies, arrived and, for whatever reason, they decided to arrest Grier and place her in handcuffs instead of getting her the medical help she needed.
In fact, according to NBC News,
“His daughter told the deputies that she’d been drinking, Marvin Grier recalled, so one of the deputies said they would detain her for intoxication until the morning when she could get medical attention.”
OK, BUT WHY THOUGH???
Why the intoxication arrest? Why was that even necessary if she wasn’t driving or attacking anyone? And why wait until the next morning to get her medical assistance when her family was calling to get her help immediately?
Mind you, we haven’t gotten to the most absurd part of this story yet. We still have to discuss how she died. Except we don’t really know how.
Grier’s parents were told by Hancock County Sheriff Terrell Primus that their daughter somehow kicked her way out of the patrol car and then “fell out” of the car. Somehow, that gave her two fractures to the skull.
I’m sorry, but as far as I know, police cars are typically locked from the inside so people who have been arrested can’t simply let themselves out, are they not? Also—and I’m no medical examiner here—but how does a fall out of a car end in two skull features?
Grier’s parents agree that this all sounds like some bullsh**.
“If she got out the car, they had to let her out the car. That’s my interpretation because in a police car, you can’t open the door from the inside, so it had to be opened from the outside,” Grier’s mother, Mary Grier, told WMAZ.
She also said that if she “had known it was going to turn out like this, God knows I wouldn’t have called to come and get her.”
“I just broke down and cried because it’s just ridiculous how she laying up there with tubes and pipes everywhere on her for no reason because it didn’t have to be that. It didn’t have to be that,” Mary said.
NBC News also spoke with Geoffrey Alpert, a professor of criminal justice at the University of South Carolina and an expert on police training who said that patrol cars are “ALWAYS supposed to be locked from the inside.”
“Otherwise,” he added, “prisoners would be letting themselves out all the time.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations is currently investigating Grier’s case and we would hope law enforcement will be held accountable, but the family says they haven’t received any new details.
Brianna Grier left behind 3-year-old twin girls. Her family has launched a GoFundMe with a $20,000 goal to “help with the funeral and other unexpected expenses.”