‘Not your BMW!’: Woman sues NYC after being forced into psych ward by police, injected with drugs
In her first on-camera interview since the incident, the 32-year-old African American banker, Kamilah Brock, told PIX 11 the whole ordeal was a “nightmare.”
Brock was pulled over by police on September 12, 2014, while waiting at a red light in Harlem, according to the lawsuit. An officer asked her why her hands were not on the steering wheel.
She responded: “I was dancing, I am at a light.” She was asked to get out of the car and then taken into custody.
After arriving at NYPD’s 30th precinct, Brock was held for several hours and then released without charge, but was told she could only pick up her 2003 BMW 325Cl the following day.
However, ensuing events totally spiraled out of control – once Brock returned to ask for her car back, police officers refused to believe that the black woman could be the owner of such a luxurious vehicle.
“I just felt like from the moment I said I owned a BMW, I was looked at as a liar,” Brock told PIX 11. “They put me in handcuffs and said they just need to put me in handcuffs to take me to my car. And I said OK, whatever it’s gonna take to get to my car.”
“Then EMS approached me. And they said we’re gonna take you to your car. And I’m like, in an ambulance? I’m going to my car in an ambulance? I was just so confused.”
Her next destination, however, turned out to be the psychiatric ward at Harlem Hospital, where medical records revealed she was forced to take lithium and injected with powerful sedatives.
“He held onto me and then the doctor stuck me in the arm and I was on a stretcher and I woke up to them taking my clothes off, specifically my underwear,” Brock said. “Then I went back out again. When I woke up the next day, I felt like I was in a nightmare. I didn’t understand why that was happening to me.”
During her eight-day stay, hospital staff tried to force her to deny that she owned the car, that she was a banker, and that US President Barack Obama followed her on Twitter – all true facts.
To make matters worse, Brock was sent a $13,000 medical bill after she was released.
Brock has filed a suit against the City of New York and the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) seeking unspecified damages. She claims that her constitutional rights under the Fourth and 14th Amendments were violated, and that she suffered “unwanted and unwarranted intrusion of her personal integrity, loss of liberty [and] mental anguish.”
Police claim that Brock was “acting irrational, she spoke incoherently and inconsistently, and she ran into the middle of traffic on Eighth Ave,” according to new filings by the city.
According to Brock’s lawyer, Michael Lamonsoff, race played a big part in the case.
“If a white woman was trying to reclaim her BMW impounded by police, would she have been made a victim?” he told the Huffington Post. “Would she have been questioned? Would she have been subject to sarcastic comments? Would she be made to justify who she was in order to ask for help? I don’t think so. I do think race played a part in this.”