Deja Stallings gave beginning to her first little one, a lady named Dsyre, on the morning of Oct. 16. However that usually joyful event was marred when the kid went into misery with an elevated coronary heart fee. Two weeks earlier than Stallings’s daughter was born, her mom informed Yahoo Information, she had been the sufferer of police brutality. Stallings, a Black girl 9 months pregnant, was thrown to the bottom on Sept. 30 throughout an altercation with police in Kansas Metropolis, Mo. That incident, in line with Stallings’s lawyer Stacy Shaw, is the explanation that Dsyre ended up in intensive care.
The night time of the incident, folks had been gathered outdoors a fuel station in downtown Kansas Metropolis to commemorate the lifetime of a current homicide sufferer.
“[The police] got here down there twice … harassing us,” Stallings, 25, informed Yahoo Information. “Then they left and got here again once more, saying [one man] was trespassing.”
Shortly after their second go to, officers started to interrupt up the group and tried to arrest a person they accused of trespassing. Through the try, Stallings allegedly intervened.
“I used to be on the market like everyone else attempting to file [on her phone] and the officer pushed me,” mentioned Stallings. “When he pushed me, I informed him, ‘Do not push me as a result of you do not have the correct to push me.’ He mentioned, ‘You effing going to jail.’ That is when he threw me down on my abdomen and put his knee in my again.”
The Kansas Metropolis Police Division accused Stallings of “hindering and interfering” with regulation enforcement, in line with an announcement from the division despatched to Yahoo Information.
“Police gave the girl and man a number of verbal warnings to go away, however they continued to bodily intrude by making an attempt to drag the suspect away from officers,” Officer Doaa El-Ashkar of KCPD wrote. “One of many helping officers then tried to put her underneath arrest for hindering and interfering. The officer tried to do that whereas she was standing, however she continued to bodily resist arrest, at which level he positioned her on the bottom to impact the arrest. Then she was handcuffed, turned to her aspect and instantly positioned in a seated place.”
A video shot on the scene, which has since gone viral, exhibits solely a portion of the arrest. Within the footage, an officer is seen tussling with Stallings, who has been delivered to the bottom, twisting her arm and putting his knee on her decrease again as onlookers plead with the officers, telling them Stallings was 9 months pregnant.
For many individuals who’ve seen the video, the episode was harking back to what occurred to George Floyd, an unarmed Black man in Minneapolis who was held down by 4 Minneapolis officers, together with one seen on video kneeling on his neck for greater than eight minutes. Floyd died because of this.
Stallings obtained a quotation for hindering arrest, however she disputes police claims that she tried to drag the suspect away as police sought to arrest him. The identify of the officer within the video has not been launched, however he stays on responsibility and hasn’t confronted any punitive motion.
“We aren’t naming that officer,” Jacob Becchina of KCPD informed an area Fox affiliate. “The officer is at the moment on full responsibility. There are not any restrictions or something like that.”
Prosecutors confirmed final week that they are additionally trying into the matter and KCPD confirms that they’re remaining “cooperative with the prosecutor’s workplace.”
In response to the shortage of disciplinary motion for the officers concerned within the incident, protestors have been occupying the Metropolis Corridor for the previous 14 days and plan to proceed to take action till police chief Rick Smith both resigns or is fired. Civil rights teams allege that Kansas Metropolis’s police division is stricken by racism. Protestors are additionally calling for the termination of the officer concerned in Stallings’ arrest in addition to a reallocation of 50 % of the police funds to protected housing, psychological well being and public schooling.
Metropolis Councilman Eric Bunch spoke in assist of the protestors at a rally for Stallings final Thursday. Bunch mentioned he would push the council to take the required motion to “utterly re-imagine what public security means.”
He added that the Kansas Metropolis police division’s $272 million funds this yr is greater than the mixed budgets of parks, well being, neighborhood providers, indigent medical care and housing and homeless providers.
“We actually do not need the cash to assist the very important well being care and high quality of life points exactly as a result of we’ve resigned ourselves to a actuality during which regulation enforcement is the one device to deal with these complicated points,” he mentioned.
Stallings’ lawyer Stacey Shaw mentioned that except the police are held accountable, incidents like this may proceed to occur.
“We wish to maintain the police officer and KCPD accountable via the courtroom of regulation for what occurred to Deja,” mentioned Shaw. “We’re pushing for the police revision of their use of power coverage to incorporate pregnant ladies … and we need to have funds revisions to finish this cycle of violence.”
Shaw believes there are deep-rooted points throughout the KCPD and mentioned that the officer who arrested Stallings is the second officer within the division that has beforehand killed somebody solely to be let again out into the group to harm another person.
One of many officers Shaw is referencing is Kansas Metropolis police officer Dylan Pifer, who killed 30-year-old Terrance Bridges, a Black man, in Might 2019. Pifer was by no means indicted by a grand jury for the killing, and he returned to energetic responsibility simply 9 days after the capturing.
Six months later, Pifer was concerned in one other incident during which he was accused of aggressively handcuffing a 15-year-old Black teenager and restraining him whereas his accomplice, Sgt. Matthew Neal, slammed the boy’s face into the bottom, breaking his enamel and inflicting him to want stitches.
Shaw recognized the officer who arrested Stallings as Blayne Newton, a person Shaw says was accountable for the killing of Donnie Sanders, a 47-year-old Black man, in March. Newton was not punished for the capturing after which returned to energetic responsibility shortly after.
“Now we have a ton of police killings on this group,” mentioned Shaw. “Police kill folks and so they received’t do something about it. This continues to occur and nobody is aware of who the officers are till somebody does the equal of dropping off an unmarked observe with the data.”
Simply 48 hours till her due date, Stallings mentioned she continues to have frequent medical visits stemming from the arrest. Her blood stress is excessive and her bones ache, she informed Yahoo Information. Eventually week’s rally she struggled to stroll from the automotive to the steps of Metropolis Corridor to say a couple of phrases due to the ache she feels. Family members began a GoFundMe web page to assist her pay for medical payments and remedy.
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