A Gift For The New Sheriff: A $5 Million Lawsuit Over An Alleged Jail Beating

Looks like the county's new sheriff has a $5 million jail lawsuit on his hands -- the first of his tenure, which began last month -- with a Dallas woman claiming she was beaten by two deputies during her lock up at the Harris County Jail.

Jeanne Greer was arrested by the sheriff's department in March of last year and taken to the jail, where she was placed in a holding tank with another woman who began having a seizure. Greer started ringing the call button for help and continued until a deputy came to the tank, according to the lawsuit filed in Houston's federal court.

"Who the fuck is ringing the call button?" the deputy asked, says the lawsuit.

Greer, who is black, told the deputy that the woman was having a seizure.

"Who made you a mother fucking doctor?" the deputy responded.

She asked the white deputy, "where was the nice black male Deputy Sheriff Police Officer who had been there earlier."

That's when things got bad.

The lawsuit claims that the guard picked up Greer by her shirt and slammed her into the wall, then carried her into another tank and threw her to the ground. The deputy started "repeatedly and savagely kicking and stomping [Greer] on the left side of the torso, on both of [her] legs and on [her] neck and head."

When Greer looked up during the assault, the black deputy was stomping on her also, according to the lawsuit.

"It wasn't racism, there was diversity in who was beating her," U. Lawrence Bozé, Greer's attorney, tells Hair Balls.

A female deputy observed the alleged assault and filed a grievance against the guards who beat Greer, Bozé says, but she quit after the jail asked her to recant her report.

"They knew about it, and I tried to settle it before I filed the lawsuit, but the internal affairs of the sheriff's department never got back in touch with me," Bozé says. "Two men jumping on a woman, and stomping and kicking on her and beating her on the head. It was shocking."

According to a sheriff's spokeswoman, the department hasn't been served with the lawsuit and wouldn't comment until it receives the papers.

-- Paul Knight 

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