Do Black Lives Matter as much as a wireless earpiece?
Cops kill. Whether cruelty, cowardice, or incompetence are to blame, the outcome is too often the same: a grieving family. What started as a 911 call for Brianna Grier’s mental health crisis ended with her death from multiple skull fractures. Fox 5 Atlanta reports officers failed to secure Grier and the patrol car door before she fell out, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. GBI released bodycam footage showing the officers breaking protocol to prioritize a Bluetooth earpiece over a Black woman’s safety and life.
BOSSIP reported that Brianna’s parents, Mary and Marvin Grier, called 911 to respond to a schizophrenic episode on July 15. They were used to calling for medical attention since Brianna was diagnosed with the disorder about a decade ago. Instead of an ambulance, two Hancock County sheriff’s deputies arrived and arrested her for intoxication.
The Questionable Arrest
On Wednesday, July 27, authorities announced findings from their investigation into how this mysterious fall happened in the first place. The GBI conducted interviews, reviewed bodycam footage, and performed mechanical tests on the patrol car. Evidence shows officers “failed to close the rear passenger-side door before driving away.” GBI released bodycam footage of Grier’s questionable arrest and the moments immediately after she fell.
“I’m not drunk. I haven’t had anything to drink. Bring out your breathalyzer!” Grier pleaded, disputing the intoxication arrest. “Get off me! I ain’t broke no law!” she repeatedly screamed as officers carried her to the patrol car in cuffs.
“I bet you I hang myself as soon as I get in there. There’s more than one way to kill yourself,” she threatened before a final struggle to get her into the car.
A Close-up Of Incompetence
After the deputies put Grier in the backseat, did they spend an extra minute to ensure she was sitting up or wearing a seatbelt? Did they perform a breathalyzer like she asked to determine if she was drunk? Did they rethink the arrest to get urgent medical care for a mentally ill woman threatening suicide? No, they slammed the door and started looking for a lost wireless earpiece.
From 2:40 to 5:00 on the video, both cops the flashing light of a lost Bluetooth device than the woman in their custody. About a minute later, the officer stops to find Brianna face-down in the street several feet behind the car. He taps her body and calls her name, but she doesn’t respond. “She’s still breathing,” the other deputy casually says before asking how the back door opened.
“She’s alright,” he says about Brianna, still face down in the dirt after sustaining multiple skull fractures. “Sit up!” he yells repeatedly as he flips over her lifeless body. “Go ahead, and sit up!
“Take the cuffs off. Sit up Briana. You all right. Here you go,” he said.
The cops didn’t just fail to protect Brianna before the fall. They handled her unconscious and injured body just as recklessly as they did during the arrest. The officers flipped and dragged her with no concern about causing potential spinal injuries.
The cover-up has already started. Initially, Hancock County Sheriff Terrell Primus told Grier’s parents that she was responsible for her own death. He claimed the 28-year-old somehow kicked the door open before she fell. What does Sherriff Primus have to say about his incompetent deputies now? How much tax money was wasted on their “training” before this?
Brianna would still be alive if these cops cared about protecting her as much as a cell phone accessory. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump represents the family in their demand for justice and accountability. The family launched a GoFundMe to raise $20,000 to help pay for the funeral and care for her 3-year-old twin girls.