On June 29th, Kirenda Welch was pulled over in Jacksonville, Florida, after she made an illegal turn. She was arrested because she was driving with a suspended license, and hauled to jail, reports News4Jax.
Welch, who is 5 weeks pregnant, told the station she never thought she’d end up a “victim of police brutality.”
But when she arrived at the station she was placed in a 4-point-restraint: that’s when an inmate’s wrists and ankles are shackled.
She complained about her prison uniform, which was uncomfortably itchy, and that’s when everything spun out of control.
Officer Catherine Thompson allegedly started beating her while hurling racial insults at her. The officer called her “Kunta Kinte,” struck her more than 10 times and pepper-sprayed her, according to the station.
On Monday, national civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump pledged to pursue federal hate crime charges against Thompson. He also called on the Justice Department to investigate the training practices of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, pointing out that the officer had purposefully taken Welch out of sight of the surveillance cameras.
The “savage beating” clearly constitutes “illegal excessive force,” Crump said.