A Tacoma, Wash., teen who was savagely assaulted by a police officer in a mall parking lot is suing the officer who perpetrated the acts against her, according to the Seattle Times.
Monique Tillman, then 15 years old, was yanked from her bike, had her hair viciously pulled and was then choked, thrown to the ground and tased by Tacoma Officer Jared Williams in a May 2014 incident caught on video. Adding insult to grevious injury, Tillman was then charged with assault.
Tillman, now a 17-year-old college student, filed a lawsuit this week against the mall’s owners, its security company and Williams, who was working an off-duty shift for the mall.
The New York Daily News reports that Tillman and her brother, Eric, 14 at the time, were biking home after dropping off some clothes at a consignment shop and having lunch at McDonald’s on May 24, 2014.
As they rode through the nearly empty lot, Williams closely pulled up in his patrol car behind Tillman, stopping within feet of her bicycle.
Video shows the teen stopping and asking Williams why he was following her so closely; the video shows words being exchanged. Tillman says that the officer said she was going to be banned from the mall—but did not say why.
As Tillman tried to ride away, Williams grabbed her by the arm and yanked her off her bike, knocking it down.
As she tried to walk away, the cop grabbed the girl by her hair and continued wrestling with her as a second officer restrained her brother, the video showed.
As Williams held the teen against a parked car by her neck and other officers came on the scene, he stunned her with a Taser and handcuffed her.
Tillman was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting an officer after Williams claimed that she attempted to kick him, but a judge who reviewed the video threw the charge out.
Tillman, now a student at Bates Technical College in Tacoma, is suing for damages, although no amount is given in the suit.
“I feel like I was targeted because I am a person of color,” Tillman told the Seattle Times. “It was frustrating because I knew I didn’t do anything wrong, but I couldn’t stop them.”
Tillman is yet another young black woman assaulted by the police, blowing open the stereotype that it is just black men and boys who experience police violence, a reality outlined by campaigns such as #SayHerName.