Coldwater, MI — Last July, Tiffany McNeil would walk into the Branch County Jail only to leave in a stretcher moments later after being brutally assaulted by a police officer and knocked unconscious while she was handcuffed. That police officer was identified in a report by TFTP last month as Coldwater police officer Lewis Eastmead and now it appears the department is letting him quietly slip away with no punishment.
As is the case so many times, officers who are facing potential punishment for crimes committed while on duty, they are allowed to quietly resign and become gypsy cops only to be hired at another department down the road. While we cannot confirm that is the case in Coldwater, it appears from the department’s tight-lipped statement that it is highly probable.
As WTVB reported this week, Coldwater City Manager Keith Baker said in a two sentence statement on Friday night that Lewis Eastmead was no longer employed by the City of Coldwater.
He did not say if Eastmead was terminated or if he resigned. All Baker said was that Eastmead was no longer employed by the city as of January 12th, 2018 and that as a result of ongoing litigation, no further comment will be made at this time, reported the WTVB.
Because of the heavy public backlash over this video, if Eastmead was fired, this information would’ve been released to show that the department cares about accountability and transparency. However, this move makes it quite obvious that they care about neither.
What happened while McNeil, 31, was being processed into jail that fateful day is now the subject of a federal lawsuit alleging that police used excessive force and then lied about what happened. The incident—in which a half dozen cops stood by and watched their brother in blue smash a handcuffed woman’s face into the pavement—was also captured on video.
“It was absolutely egregious, disgusting, thug-like conduct,” McNeil’s attorney, Solomon Radner, said. “You don’t expect that from police officers, and it shouldn’t be tolerated.”
On July 24, police were called to McNeil’s home by her husband during an argument. According to the lawsuit, McNeil had been drinking which sparked the argument.
McNeil was arrested and brought to the Branch County Jail to be processed for the incident. As police bring her into the secured entrance, we can see this disturbing scenario unfold.
The woman-beating cop is seen shoving McNeil’s face into the concrete wall for several minutes. The entire time, McNeil is non-combative and not resisting in the least—not to mention, she’s in handcuffs.
All of the sudden, the officer begins pressing her face into the wall with both hands before pulling her backward and slamming her face-first into the concrete floor. McNeil was knocked out immediately.
During the attack on the restrained woman, five other cops watched as their brother in blue degraded the young woman by shoving her face into the wall and not a single one of them intervened as he slammed her to the floor.
In a most disturbing image, once Eastmead realizes McNeil is knocked unconscious, he rolls his victim over to reveal a puddle of blood on the floor coming from the massive gash in her head.
“I told you to relax,” the officer yells, with his knee now on McNeil’s back as she lay motionless on the ground.
For nearly 15 minutes, police prodded the unconscious woman as she lay entirely unresponsive on the concrete. Finally, EMTs arrive and bring her to the hospital where, according to Radner, McNeil received 17 stitches and was treated for a concussion.
After being treated in the hospital, police charged McNeil with felony resisting a police officer. To justify this charge, police then lied on their report, claiming McNeil was being “combative” and “actively resisting arrest,” according to the lawsuit.
Obviously, McNeil was not being combative as we can clearly see that fact in the video. She was doing nothing wrong when Eastmead attacked her.
“The cover-up started almost immediately. Unfortunately for them, we have audio and video recordings of what took place and they’re not going to be able to hide from that,” Radner said. “The bottom line is that officer Eastmead grabbed her, spun her around, threw her face first into the concrete with such force that it knocked her unconscious.”
Radner explained that police brought the felony charge against her to force her into taking a plea deal for the domestic misdemeanor charge to which she pleaded no contest. The felony resisting charge was then dropped.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Eastmead and about a dozen other officers and police department supervisors, including the officers who witnessed the incident, are listed among the defendants, with some identified by name and others listed as John Doe. McNeil is also suing the city of Coldwater.
Along with the excessive force claim, the lawsuit alleges unreasonable seizure; abuse of process and malicious prosecution; that the other police officers failed to intervene “to prevent the violation of Ms. McNeil’s constitutional rights,” and that city failed to properly screen, train and supervise its police officers. It seeks at least $75,000 in damages.
The Coldwater police department has yet to even announce that they plan on investigating this video and they have made no mention of any discipline Eastmead may have faced. As for McNeil, she is too scared to live in Coldwater anymore and has since moved.
Below is a video of what a woman abusing predator does when given unchecked authority and is accountable to no one.
Youtube has since pulled our video down for “violating the Community Guidelines” however, CBS has the exact same video which YouTube has no problem keeping up.
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