San Francisco, California – A year after Megan Sheehan sued the Bay Area Transit (BART) for using excessive force after her arrest, the agency decided to settle the problem out of the court. BART agreed to pay Ms. Sheehan $1.35 million, and accepted full responsibility for the injuries caused at the woman after she was arrested.
Everything started on March 17 when Megan Sheehan, a bartender and a model, was arrested for public intoxication. Until then, it was a case straight from the book, someone celebrates St. Patrick’s Day and ends up wandering in the streets a little too drunk. As some others that day, she was taken to the Santa Rita Jail. Unfortunately for Ms. Sheehan, things got a little complicated there.
According to police officers, Ms. Sheehan was conflictive and belligerent. So an officer grabbed her arm, and put it behind her back – which is not that weird – but the transit enforcer got carried away. Megan fell to the floor face first, thus getting a major black eye and some bruises. The result? Megan ended up with 4 broken bones in her face as well as some missing teeth. Transit stations are equipped with security cameras, and there is a video that shows the woman passed out. The video shows how Ms. Shehaan was face down on a pool of her own blood.
“I don’t believe that they should have broken four bones in my face and knocked out some of my teeth,” Sheehan said.
Woman beaten by BART police to be paid $1.35M: BART paid $1.35 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a San… https://t.co/Xkcemwj1Ap
— Oakland News (@breakingoaknews) May 21, 2016
The settlement comes as a surprise because last year, on April, when Ms. Sheehan presented the lawsuit, the officer who took her down was cleared by the BART’s excessive force investigation commission. In fact, the official report said Megan Sheehan was “violently punching” and then, the officer used and arm-bar take down to guide her to the ground. However, while the woman was at the Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, she told ABC News that shortly after the incident, a sergeant who was figuring out if there was excessive force, asked her questions in an inappropriate way.
But this is not the first time a police officer in Oakland is accused of misconduct. According to John Burris, a local attorney who is famous for handling high-profile cases, cops lie when they face brutality charges, and the lawyer also says that police departments cover up this kind of things.
SF woman gets $1.35M settlement from @SFBART after officer slams her down, breaks facial bone https://t.co/6EPXntlIPk @e_baldi @EastBayTimes
— Cecily Burt (@csburt) May 21, 2016
Source: NBC Bay Area