Reporting J.D. Miles
DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – A Mesquite woman has filed a lawsuit for an incident caught on camera at the Dallas County Jail.
Rhonda Wells claims a jailer, Rachel Graham, used excessive force after her DWI arrest, which resulted in serious injuries. The federal lawsuit alleges civil rights violations and does not specify damages.
Surveillance video, taken from the jail’s booking area in July 2011, shows Wells standing handcuffed watching Graham search her purse, which is standard procedure. When Wells walks up behind the jailer, Graham turns around, extends her leg and slams the woman to the ground. Wells’ attorney says she suffered broken teeth and a split chin while lying in her own blood. The video also shows another jailer wince and walk away after witnessing the incident.
Criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Toby Shook says the he’s never seen that kind of behavior in the county jail.
“It’s pretty unbelievable, I’ve never witnessed that type of assault by a corrections officer,” says Shook. The person was helpless in the fact that they were handcuffed and they really didn’t appear to be any kind of threat to the detention officer.”
Graham has been charged with official oppression and fired.
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