WOMAN INVOLVED IN VIRAL POLICE VIDEO SAYS SHE’S TAKING LEGAL ACTION
The woman seen in a video widely shared on social media and later corroborated by the Tuscaloosa Police Department with body camera video is speaking out after what she says was an abuse of police power.
Jhasmynn Sheppard, 22, was charged with disarming a police officer, second-degree assault and resisting arrest — all charges stemming from after her vehicle was stopped by police. She’s since posted bond and has been released from the Tuscaloosa County Jail.
Sheppard admits she did leave the scene of a wreck on Friday, April 19, before she was stopped by Tuscaloosa Police. Leaving the scene of an accident is a misdemeanor in Tuscaloosa, and Police Chief Steve Anderson said the charge is usually written up as a ticket with a court date instead of requiring an arrest.
But Sheppard said that no matter what she did before the stop, she shouldn’t have been treated the way she was by Tuscaloosa Police Officers Steven Lackey and Cole Ward.
In fact, Sheppard said she denies much of what the officers accused her of in the video, including grabbing one of the officers by the privates.
An officer threatened Sheppard during the incident, cursing at her and suggesting he would “knock all her teeth out” or put a gun to the back of her head.
The worst part, she said, is she thought they would really carry through with their threats.
“This man literally, I thought he was gonna kill me,” she said. “I’m begging and pleading already that I can’t breathe and (he) told me that (he) didn’t care. (He) told me that it was too late to breathe, so either (he’s) going to kill me or I’m going to die because I can’t breathe. So I did feel like I was going to die.”
Sheppard said she is planning on taking legal action against the Tuscaloosa Police Department.