San Leandro, CA — Despite committing no crime and being an innocent passenger in a vehicle, Emerald Black — who was several months pregnant — was dragged from a vehicle and her stomach “stomped” by cops, according to a federal lawsuit filed against the city of San Leandro and several of its officers. The violent interaction caused her to lose her baby.
According to the lawsuit, on June 7, 2019, Black had just left the hospital for a pregnancy exam which confirmed she was “high risk” for a miscarriage. After the exam, Black, still dressed in “hospital clothing,” was a passenger in a car driven by her fiancé. The couple was then targeted by police for extortion because they allegedly had an expired registration sticker.
According to the lawsuit, Black informed police she was pregnant and was asked to remain in the car while her fiancé was taken out to be extorted.
Without cause or provocation, according to the lawsuit, police allegedly yanked Black from the car, “taunted her, piled on top of her and stomped on her stomach leaving a shoe mark,” according to the court filing.
“Days later,” according to the lawsuit, Black miscarried her child, ending the infant’s life. Black was never charged with a crime yet was beaten and humiliated — causing the death of her child — for no reason, according to the lawsuit.
“Defendants had no probable cause or even reasonable suspicion to use any force whatsoever against Plaintiff. Therefore, the use of any force, was unlawful and excessive.”
According to VICE.com:
In the lawsuit, Black alleges that her pregnancy ended “as a result of the officers’ excessive force.” The complaint also said that Black had “suffered other physical injuries, embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress both from the incident and loss of her child.”
Black is seeking general and punitive damages “in a sum to be proven at trial,” as well as punitive damages for loss of wages and income as well as medical expenses. The city of San Leandro has so far not responded to the lawsuit in federal court. Emails requesting comment from Black’s lawyers as well as San Leandro mayor Pauline Cutter and chief of police Jeff Tudor were not immediately returned.
While Black’s case is certainly shocking, it is not rare. TFTP reports on cops attacking pregnant women quite frequently. Last year, a tragedy unfolded in Houston, Texas when a Baytown police officer approached a woman, identified by her family as 44-year-old Pamela Turner, and killed her. Turner’s last words before she was shot five times by the officer were “I’m pregnant.”
Turner was reportedly struggling with mental illness, however, her neighbors and family said she was peaceful and kept to herself, which is why the video of the incident has family members claiming that this shooting was unjustified.
Before that, TFTP reported on the case of 32-year-old Kenyatta Secession who was on her way to the hospital because she was having an issue with her late-term pregnancy when she was stopped by police who were there to arrest her over her failure to show up to court.
On a September afternoon, police targeted Secession because she had outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court—also known as being too poor to pay heavy fines for victimless crimes. During the stop, a dispute arose and Secession was wrestled to the ground by Ptl. Matt Boss and Ptl. Brandon Stephenson. She was slammed down as cops put knees in her belly. This was captured on video as well.
Before that, TFTP reported on Martini Smith who had finally got enough courage to fight back against her abusive boyfriend. But her self-defense ended up with her being locked in a cage and tortured by police with a taser. Smith was half-naked, standing in a concrete cell in Franklin County Jail when corporal Matthew Stice shot her in her chest with his taser. Her crime? She couldn’t remove her tongue ring fast enough. Like Black, Smith also suffered a miscarriage as a result of her abuse. Smith’s disturbing attack was also caught on video.
The list of cops abusing pregnant women, often times entirely innocent ones, goes on and on.