Jasper, Texas Woman Files Federal Lawsuit Over Beating Recorded at Jail

jailKeyarika “Shea” Diggles of Jasper, Texas has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Jasper Police Department in connection with a beating she sustained at the city jail.

The lawsuit alleges excessive force, racial discrimination and conspiracy in the May 5, 2013 beating that was so severe that, “the woman’s braces were knocked loose, her tooth was chipped and a “big chunk” of her hair was pulled out, her attorneys said” (chron.com).

On that evening, the Jasper police arrested Diggles at her home as part of the warrant round-up. According to chron.com, “When the officers, ( Ryan Cunningham and Ricky Grissom) told her she had an active arrest warrant, Diggles informed them that she had been paying monthly installments on the ticket, and had a remaining balance of $100…The white officers handcuffed Diggles, who is black, and took her to jail. There, the situation quickly deteriorated, according to the lawsuit.” The below graphic jail video shows Diggles attempting to call her mother to try to come up with the $100 unpaid fine when Grissom walked up and hung up the phone with his finger. According to chron.com:

After apparent words were exchanged – the video does not include audio – Cunningham walked up, grabbed Diggles by her hair and began to pull her head-first across the room. Cunningham shoved her into a counter and slammed her head onto a countertop.

The two officers wrestled Diggles to the floor and handcuffed her, then dragged her by her ankles to the holding cell. Davenport, the police dispatcher, walked up and opened the cell door for the officer.

The lawsuit states:

After being dragged by her feet, into a darkened, isolated cell, Plaintiff (Diggles) was kept there for hours without any type of medical attention for the injuries that she sustained at the hands of the two officers… …With her hands tightly bound behind her, she spent the duration of her time in the isolated cell with an injured scalp where her hair was ripped from her head, a brace lodged into her upper lip, a tooth dangling by its root and handcuffs ripping into her wrists.

Cunningham and Grissom were fired after the incident. The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and damages for physical injury, mental anguish, medical expenses and attorney’s fees.


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