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Black Woman Allegedly Assaulted After Calling 911 Files Federal Lawsuit Claiming Police Brutality

Stallworth’s lawsuit argues that she was assaulted, strip-searched, and jailed following after she called 911 on a white neighbor.

Twyla Stallworth, an Alabama woman who was captured on bodycam in February being arrested at her own home for refusing to show her ID, has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Andalusia, Alabama, the city’s police department, and the officer involved in the incident, Grant Barton. In the lawsuit, Stallworth accuses Barton of unlawful arrest, illegal detainment, and a racially motivated assault of her.

As NPR reports, the 40-year-old Stallworth was issued an apology by the city’s Mayor Earl Johnson after her charges were dropped. Johnson indicated the officer had been disciplined in late February in a statement. “On behalf of the City of Andalusia and the Andalusia Police Department, I would like to apologize to Twyla Stallworth for her arrest in February … the arresting officer has a clean record with our department, but he made a mistake in the case on February 23. He has been disciplined.”

Stallworth’s lawsuit, obtained by NPR, argues that she was assaulted, strip-searched, and jailed for 15 hours after she called Andalusia police to call in a noise complaint coming from her neighbor’s residence. The neighbor is white, and Stallworth is Black.

Stallworth’s son was present during the incident. Stallworth’s lawsuit, filed on behalf of both herself and her son, 18-year-old Jermari Marshall, who recorded the altercation, seeks unspecified damages.

As USA Today reports, according to the lawsuit, “As a result of this incident, Ms. Stallworth suffered humiliation, embarrassment, physical injuries, and loss of freedom.” The suit also alleges, “Both Ms. Stallworth and Jermari now suffer from mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life.”

Stallworth also told the outlet that what happened to her as a result of Barton’s actions has left her traumatized. “I’m emotionally unstable at this point,” Stallworth told USA Today. “I’ve been through a lot in my life… but something about this has really traumatized my mental. I can’t stop crying about it.”

Stallworth continued, hoping the suit will result in “changed behaviors, changed mindsets, changed perspectives (and) changed perceptions” regarding race. “Change the way that we see someone, they’re not the color of their skin but they are mind, body, soul and spirit,” Stallworth said. “They are not their race, they are somebody… equality and justice for anybody.”

Stallworth told NPR that she was concerned about what else Barton could potentially do, saying, “If a police officer like Barton is willing to illegally force himself into your home, assault you and your son, and lock you up in a cage when you’re strip searched and degraded even though you haven’t broken any laws, then what wouldn’t he do?”

At an April 25 news conference announcing the lawsuit, Stallworth declared it was time for change. “Enough is enough for Black people and the Black community. Stand boldly for your rights and always cover yourself. Have a camera and make sure you’re recording because without evidence, you lose every time.”

Stallworth continued, “I see it on TV, I watch the videos and I never thought it’d be my own home,” Stallworth said, “and I’m grateful that I’m able to stand here and speak to you. I’m grateful that my son is able to stand here because we could have both lost our lives.”

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