Independent autopsy report reveals Brianna Grier’s brain shifted from side to side after handcuffed black woman fell from Georgia police cruiser

New reports show that a Georgia woman who fell from a moving police cruiser on July 15 while handcuffed and undergoing a mental wellness break suffered two fatal fractures in her skull, resulting in her brain shifted in her skull. Her family’s attorney says she is the “face of the mental health crisis here in Georgia.”

On Monday, August 8, Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump announced the results of an independent preliminary analysis of Brianna Grier’s injuries. The review was carried out by Dr. Allecia Wilson, director of autopsy and forensic services at the University of Michigan, and Roger Mitchell, chair of the department of pathology at Howard University, at the request of the young mother’s parents, reports the Daily Beast.

During a press conference in Atlanta at Mt. Zion Second Baptist Church, Wilson unpacked her findings and explained how she was suffering from internal bleeding and brain swelling at the time of Grier’s death. The medical expert explained the trauma was so great that it shifted her brain from one side of the skull to the other.

In addition to two fractures on the left side of his head, the 28-year-old suffered several bleedings, severe cerebral edema and compression of the brain structure.

“What can sometimes happen when the brain or head impacts on one side, the brain can move inside the skull and that can cause injury right opposite where the impact occurs,” Wilson said when she fingered a diagonal line across a model of Grier’s brain, connecting one injury to another.

“This is a large subdural hematoma, and this is blood that’s under the dura on the right side of the brain.”

She said: “What happens when there’s an impact like that to the head is the brain can swell. In this case, the cause of death is consistent with the severe blunt force injury that occurred to the side of the head.”

Lawyers believe the cause of the trauma was the “violent impact” of her head as she fell from a moving squad car.

Although a deputy from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department was arrested and the bodycam released to the public, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has not yet released Grier’s official autopsy result.

Concerned that the release of the autopsy could be delayed by months, Crump said, “We urge you to complete this investigation expeditiously.”

Both the footage and the arrest came after pressure from family, friends, lawyers and other judicial stakeholders who had campaigned for transparency publicly and on social media.

In the video, Deputy Timothy Legette and Sgt. Marlin Primus, the sheriff’s brother, put a handcuffed Grier in their vehicle after her parents called 911 because Grier was at their home in Hancock County, about 100 miles south of Atlanta , had a crisis. She is heard screaming that if they make her walk, she will harm herself. She later threatens to harm herself if she goes to jail.

Eric Hertz, one of the family’s attorneys, stated at the conference that HCS officers dropped her at least once before putting her in the squad car and believed the video supports their theory that each fall contributed to the blunt force injury could have suffered the life she has suffered.

Once the woman is seated in the car, an officer asks, “Did you shut the other side?” His partner replies in the affirmative, simply saying, “Yep.”

Within 60 seconds of being picked up in the car, officers find Grier’s body on the ground — outside of her custody.

Grier’s parents say they were originally told she kicked the door open. However, the GBI report states that the door was never closed and that the woman, although handcuffed behind her back, was not secured with a seat belt.

According to Georgian law, “adult passengers in the back seat of a passenger car in Georgia are not required to wear a seat belt” but are encouraged to “wear one at all times.” Also, according to a recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), “Rear seat occupants are three times more likely to die in an accident when they are not wearing seat belts.”

It’s not clear if buckled up would have saved her life.

The parents never wanted her to go to jail but were persuaded by officers – who said she could receive medical attention for her mental illness the next morning. Grier, who was struggling with her schizophrenia diagnosis before her death, had come into the house and acted disorderly when her parents called for help.

Their experience was that a trained medic would come and de-escalate her while she was in crisis. However, the dispatchers sent officers who questioned her about the drinking and used this as a reason for her arrest.

Crump said his client could easily be the “face of the mental health crisis here in Georgia,” and wondered why criminalization was the first step.

Grier is survived by parents Marvin and Mary Grier, their three-year-old twin daughters, and a host of friends and relatives.

They will all celebrate their lives on Thursday, August 11 at 11 am at the West Hunter Street Baptist Church in Atlanta. according to a expression from the National Action Network, which says her death was the result of an “inappropriate arrest during a psychiatric episode,” Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy. Independent autopsy report reveals Brianna Grier’s brain shifted from side to side after handcuffed black woman fell from Georgia police cruiser

James Brien

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