Store video center of police brutality investigation
Brandie Redell admits she was stealing at the Von Maur department store in Northpark Mall in February, caught on security camera stuffing clothing in her baby’s stroller.
But when Davenport police arrived to arrest her, things went from bad to worse.
A store video shows Redell being beaten and held down by two officers, punched in the head several times, her right eye swollen shut and requiring a trip to the hospital.
“I was asking him why was this happening and I was crying. I was screaming, begging for someone to help me,” Redell said.
There’s no audio on the store tape, but Redell can be seen on her phone, she says, to call her boyfriend to come pick their 14-month-old daughter up while she was being taken to jail. She says when one of the officers heard the name of her significant other, a man known to police, she says he told her “This is going to get real ugly, real quick.”
She is seen animatedly talking to the officer, identified as Scott Crow. She remains sitting down when the police officer approaches her, and the altercation begins, with another officer holding down her legs.
Police Chief Frank Donchez says an internal investigation found that the officers violated policy and were disciplined, but he says the action did not rise to anyone losing their job.
“We have an Officers Bill of Rights. Progressive discipline is part of the Bill of Rights. I have fired ten people in the past five-and-a-half years. I’m not opposed to firing people when it warrants it. One of the things is that officer was bit,” Donchez said. “I have access to all the facts, people watching TV and video don’t have access to all the facts,” he added.
Redell admits she bit the officers finger, but claims it was to try and get him off of her.
The Chief says County Attorney Mike Walton reviewed the tape and police accounts and did not believe any criminal charges were warranted.
Redell is now working with a civil rights group based in Chicago called Living and Driving While Black Foundation. The founder is David Lowery, formerly from Davenport, who says a federal civil rights lawsuit is in the works against the Davenport Police Department.