A woman who filed a lawsuit against the city of San Leandro claiming its police officers caused her to have a miscarriage during a traffic stop in June 2019, appears to be false, according to body-camera video released by the city on Wednesday.
A federal civil rights lawsuit filed on May 25 by Emerald Black described San Leandro police officers stomping on her stomach, causing her to have a miscarriage. The complaint added that Black had been released from the hospital earlier in the day and had been deemed high-risk for a miscarriage. She was also wearing “hospital clothing” during the incident.
However, the body-camera video tells a different story.
After alarming police officers by saying, “I’ve got something for you, bro” and appearing to reach toward the floor of the front passenger’s seat, Black told police that she had a miscarriage earlier in the day.
When police detained Black, she appeared to momentarily resist before falling to the ground. Because the incident occurred at night, it is inconclusive from the video whether police officers kicked Black while attempting to handcuff her. Black’s lawsuit claimed the alleged kick left a shoe mark on her stomach.
In addition, Black did not appear to be wearing hospital garb during the arrest, although, she references wearing hospital socks in the video.
The traffic stop was precipitated by a call from a local retailer who said someone had broken into a locked display cooler stocked with alcohol. But the items, however, were not stolen because the individual had placed money on the register counter, according to police.
Police later pulled over the vehicle that included Black and suspected the driver of being under the influence of alcohol.
The filing of the lawsuit by Black last month arrived at a time when national outrage over the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police was beginning to gain steam. It followed a high-profile shooting death of Steven Taylor by San Leandro Police last April at a local Walmart store. In recent weeks, San Leandro City Council meetings have featured a large number of public speakers who have registered anger over the Taylor shooting and have called for accountability for the officer’s actions.
Last week, the city issued a statement that also signaled it was preparing to release body-camera video from the Black incident. “We take these claims very seriously. We recognize that the allegations are troubling and appreciate the high level of community concern they have generated. We also express sadness and condolences to Ms. Black for her and her family’s loss,” the city wrote in a statement.
Further stoking concerns among city officials was traction the headline of a pregnant black woman being “stomped” on by police officers and resulting in a miscarriage had gained in the national and international media. An online petition calling for an investigation of San Leandro Police had been signed by 2.4 million people.
There are more questions raised by the release of the video than resolved. I suspect that the lawsuit will continue and likely should, given the history of the San Leandro Police and their ability to mistreat and in many cases shoot and in some case to kill citizens. It is time for Law Enforcement to be more transparent and quit acting as police-judge-jury-and executioner.
Though Dante Osborne was murdered by Alameda Sheriffs, his circumstances are similar to other incidents throughout California . San Leandro police killed Guadalupe Ochoa-Mana in Oakland. See the facts below.
Dante Osborne, 32 on 9/22/2015 in San Leandro, California. Dante Osborne was wanted in connection with a drive-by shooting earlier that day. Alameda County Sheriffs deputies spotted him driving on Interstate 580 and tried to stop him. He drove off the freeway, abandoned his vehicle, and fled on foot. Deputies pursued him and he was killed in an exchange of gunfire with the deputies.
Guadalupe Ochoa-Manza, 25 on 12/7/2014 in Oakland, California. Ochoa was attempted to be pulled over by police for suspicion of driving a stolen truck. She refused to pull over and lead San Leandro Police Department officers on a chase that ended in East Oakland. Ochoa allegedly rammed several police cars near a cul-de-sac and officers responded by shooting the woman. She died two days later at a hospital.
The video does not record all the facts just some of them.
Ms. Black clearly says on the video that she was kicked in the stomach.
Ms. Black clearly was taken down to the ground and held in place forcefully.
Ms. Black was black was not wearing hospital clothing, There is no picture of what she has on her feet. Her pants were unbuttoned and falling down.
Ms. Black was never told that she was to be handcuffed. She resisted as soon as she was taken down to the ground and handcuffed.
Ms. Black uttered a great many profanities, but the N Word was bleeped. Not sure why it was bleeped. There was very little recorded police speech.
There were at least 3 Male Officers, none appeared to be African American. The female officer is never seen, only heard. She appears to be taking the video documentation. The body cameras on the other three officers are not a part of this video.
1. Were vandalism charges as well as any others, pursued for the removal of the alcohol from the 7-11? Who paid for the repairs?
2. Was the driver and the two passengers charged with an open container in a vehicle?
3. Was the backseat female passenger allowed to leave or was she charged?
4. Was the car impounded and towed or did the second passenger drive it away?
5. What are the names and ethnicities of the four San Leandro Police Officers involved?
6. Do the officers involved have a record of civilian complaints?
7. What other jurisdictions have the 4 officers come from and what is their record like?
8. Do any of the officers live in San Leandro?
9. Where did the driver, Ms. B lack and the other female in the car live?
10. Did any of the three in the car have a previous arrest record?
11. Were all three in the car at least 21?
12. Was the car searched and was there any contraband found?