A Black woman accused four white police officers of assaulting her and her son at a Sam’s Club store in Des Peres, Missouri, after the pair tried to return a TV.
According to a lawsuit filed by Marvia Gray, 68, she and her son Derek, 43, were attacked and arrested by the officers on March 23. The suit alleges the Grays purchased a TV that was too big to fit in their car and ran into problems after returning to Sam’s Club pick it up.
The complaint, filed against the city of Des Peres and the four police officers, alleges Derek Gray showed store employees a receipt proving he bought the TV but management did not hand it over because they believed he was trying to steal it.
Per Gray, after an employee spoke up on Derek’s behalf and confirmed he bought the TV, he was allowed to leave the store with it. However, a police officer still followed Gray to his car when he left the store. Even though an employee told the officer Gray did not steal the TV, the officer made a phone call saying he watched Gray steal a TV and put it in his car.
The complaint goes on to say the Grays decided to take back the TV after Derek arrived home and told his mother he had been accused of stealing it. When the Grays returned to the store hoping for a refund, the filing says they were thrown on the ground, beaten, and handcuffed by four white Des Peres police officers.
A video posted by KSDK, and NBC affiliate in St. Louis, Missouri, shows the arrest of the Grays as captured on a cellphone video by another Sam’s Club customer.
In the video, both Grays are being pressed on the ground, and Marvia Gray is yelling “leave me alone.” Derek Gray tries to get up at one point and is prevented by the officers, who push him back on the ground.
Andrew Stroth, an attorney for Marvia Gray, has provided cellphone videos taken by other Sam’s Club shoppers to the press as evidence for the abuse detailed in the lawsuit.
The complaint says both Grays walked away with injuries from their interaction with the police, including damage to Marvia Gray’s tailbone, knees, and arms, and a head wound that resulted in a concussion for her son.
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H/T Daily Mail