GBI agents conducted interviews, reviewed body camera footage, and did mechanical testing on the patrol car to determine if there were possible “mechanical malfunctions” to the patrol car.
“In conjunction with these investigative acts, GBI agents concluded that Grier was placed in the backseat of the patrol car, handcuffed in the front of her body with no seatbelt,” the agency reported.
Body camera video shows one deputy telling Brianna she would be charged with public drunkenness. “I can smell it on you,” he said.
She had told deputies: “I’m not drunk. I haven’t had anything to drink.”
She screamed, begging for them to bring out a breathalyzer as she was handcuffed. She flailed her legs and yelled: “Get off of me,” to which a deputy replied: “Now, you finna get charged.” Body camera footage shows Brianna screaming, crying, and begging deputies to get off of her. “I ain’t broke no law,” she said.
Deputies alleged Grier had refused to get into the patrol car and “made a statement that she was going to harm herself” when one of two deputies on the scene opened the rear passenger door and helped the other deputy get Grier into the backseat via the rear driver’s side, the GBI reported. “The deputies closed the rear driver’s side door,” the agency said in its news release. “The investigation shows that the deputy thought he closed the rear passenger side door.
“The deputies left the scene and drove a short distance. Body camera footage reveals the deputies had no other contact with Grier from the time she was placed in the car until she fell out of the moving car.”
Brianna Grier’s mother, Mary, told reporters she feels awful because she is the one who called police looking for help. Brianna, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, was having a mental health episode and threatening to harm her daughters, CBS reported. “I hate that I called,” Mary Grier told the news station. “I feel like it’s my fault because I called them and I’m trusting in them to take care of her, not to harm her.”
Brianna Grier’s family had called authorities several times seeking mental health services for their daughter.
“When they used to come out to the house they’d call an ambulance service,” said Brianna Grier’s father, Marvin Grier. “The ambulance service would come out and they would take her to the hospital to get some help.”
Ben Crump, a noted civil rights attorney who’s on the legal team of Grier’s family, said during a news conference on Friday that deputies with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office came to the Grier home and handcuffed Brianna allegedly for resisting arrest. They didn’t bring an ambulance with them even though Brianna’s mother had told authorities she was “having an episode,” Crump said.
The attorney also alleged that the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office gave a conflicting report of what happened. “We demand full transparency and answers from the police,” he said in one tweet.
The GBI provided an update on Friday to clarify what it described as “inaccurate reports” about the investigation of Brianna’s death.
“As a point of clarification to inaccurate reports, GBI agents have met with the Grier family in-person on multiple occasions since July 15,” the agency said.
Agents have also had several conversations with the family, providing them with investigative updates. It has also been reported that the GBI released a 90-page report of prior incidents involving Brianna Grier. The GBI has not released any reports of prior contact with law enforcement. We have only provided investigative updates on this case as we’re working to learn what happened in Hancock County in the early morning hours of July 15, 2022.
Gerald Griggs, Georgia’s NAACP president, referenced the death of Ahmaud Arbery at a news conference about Brianna.
Griggs used Arbery’s death as evidence of what he called a “police accountability and a police brutality problem” in Georgia.
“So to the Hancock County sheriff, it’s time to be transparent. It’s time to be accountable,” the local leader said.
The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office has not returned the Daily Kos’ request for comment.