Dead body of black female lying on the pavement and covered with white blanket after a road accident.

The family of a Georgia woman who fell out of a moving police car has filed a lawsuit over the 2022 incident, in which a deputy was found to have failed to close the rear passenger door of a Hancock County Sheriff’s Office vehicle. NBC News reports the incident began when the parents of 28-year-old Brianna Grier — diagnosed with schizophrenia — called for police assistance at their home in Sparta as Grier was suffering a mental health episode on July 16. Grier was ultimately arrested, handcuffed, and placed in the back of the vehicle, and fell out of the unlatched door while being transported to the sheriff’s office. She remained in a coma for a week before succumbing to the injuries she sustained from the fall on July 21.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called to investigate the incident and announced the conclusion of their investigation in November, with no charges filed, in spite of determining that a deputy failed to properly secure the door that would have kept Grier safely inside the vehicle. The Ocmulgee Circuit District Attorney declined to bring the case to the grand jury. The lawsuit names Hancock County Sheriff Tomlyn Primus, along with Lt. Marlin Primus and Deputy Timothy Legette. The legal complaint alleges gross negligence, excessive force, wrongful death, and other claims. 

According to a report from NPR, the U.S. government does not know how many people die each year while in police custody, in spite of a federal law that requires states to report such information. The law is supposed to result in the details of the time and location of a death that occurs to a person in custody from any law enforcement agency to be shared with the U.S. Attorney General so the government can understand and resolve some of the issues leading to these deaths.

If your loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence, the legal team at Cambre & Associates can help you understand the wrongful death claims process that you can use to seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of your loss. Contact us for a free case evaluation.