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A Jury Awards $500,000 to Monique Tillman, who was Allegedly a Victim of Police Brutality at age 15 in Tacoma, Washington

Tacoma WA
Tacoma, Washington (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On May 24, 2014, 15-year-old Monique Tillman and her then 16-year-old brother were riding their bicycles through the parking lot of a Tacoma, Washington, mall when they encountered an off-duty police officer working security. The officer turned on his vehicle’s lights and pulled the teens over, though he had not seen them commit a crime. Tillman enquired why the officer pulled her over and then began to ride off on her bicycle. As she was biking away, the officer allegedly captured Tillman by her hair, slammed her onto the pavement, and shocked her with his electronic weapon.  The siblings claim that their civil rights were violated, and they sued the officer and the City of Tacoma in a U.S. District Court in Tacoma. They alleged that the officer’s actions were excessive and assaultive. On Thursday, March 22, 2018, a federal jury apparently found that their claims of police brutality were true and awarded Tillman $500,000 and her brother $50,000.

Security footage captured the encounter between Tillman, her brother, and the officer. It shows that the officer was in his police cruiser wearing his uniform when he stopped them. The officer had told Tillman, when she questioned why she had been stopped, that she had caused a disturbance. He said he was issuing a warning for trespass, which meant that, if she came back to the mall property, she could be placed under arrest.

The Tacoma city spokesperson said attorneys were going to review the case to decide whether to pursue an appeal in the disappointing case.

The police officer allegedly involved in excessive force against Tillman is still employed with the Tacoma Police Department.

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–Guest Contributor

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