28-year-old Brianna Marie Grier was laid to rest Thursday in Atlanta Georgia following her passing in July—a death her family, friends, and community members say was unjustifiable, and entirely preventable. According to The Daily Beast, Grier was arrested in her parents driveaway for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct on July 15th in the early hours of the morning. Her family says that the mother of two manages mental health disorders, namely schizophrenia. Those closest to her who have witnessed her more difficult episodes often relied on local sherifs to help calm her down when they themselves were unable to do so.
“We want to know why that night was just so much different,” Lottie Grier, Brianna’s sister, told The Daily Beast.
The day Grier was arrested, deputies vowed that they would call in a 10-13 (a police code for mental health emergencies) later that morning, hoping to secure long-term care. According to the family, Grier’s mental health had been deteriorating for some years, and they were concerned for her as well her 3 year old twin daughters.
But instead of receiving the help she so deserved, Grier had to instead be flown into Grady hospital in Atlanta after she fell from the patrol car and suffered a series of head injuries.
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“We called the police for help…not hell,” Marvin Grier, Brianna’s father, said during his daughter’s funeral.
The Hancock Police Department initially told the Grier family that the 110-pound woman kicked open the door of the car, but the Georgia Bureau of Investigation later found this account to be inaccurate. The investigation found that Grier had not been strapped into a seatbelt in the car’s backseat, and that the door had not been properly closed by one or more officers that made the arrest.
Grier died six days after the tragic accident, and the family began demanding answers immediately after. Last month, the bodycam footage revealed that Grier fell from the car not even a minute after pulling away from her home.
The story has now gained national attention as the public demands the officers involved be held accountable. Reverend Al Sharpton—who also attended Grier’s funeral—has now joined the fight for Justice for Brianna Grier.
“The issue to me is not what she was thinking, but what was the police thinking,” he said.