Woman Pulled From Car, Beaten By Police Files Federal Lawsuit
Mia Wright's federal civil rights lawsuit alleges she was the victim of the Chicago police "tactic of brutality in the summer of 2020."
CHICAGO — A woman whose violent arrest at Brickyard Mall in May was captured on a video that went viral on social media filed a federal lawsuit alleging her civil rights were violated when officers allegedly pulled her from a car by her hair and placed a knee on her neck.
The lawsuit claims Mia Wright was in a car in the mall parking lot on her way to shop with family and friends for a birthday party on May 31 when police broke out the passenger side window, pulled her from the vehicle and "onto the ground by her braided hair," according to court papers.
That's when an officer pressed a knee with the weight of his body on her neck. She couldn't breathe and was in "paralyzing fear" as her face and neck were pressed to the concrete. Broken glass was lodged in her eye during the encounter with police, according to the lawsuit.
The incident, which occurred as protests of the death of George Floyd and looting occurred in Chicago and around the country, was captured on a video posted on Twitter.
The lawsuit claims Wright and her co-plaintiffs were victims of the "well-documented" Chicago police "tactic of brutality in the summer of 2020" that included coordinated, brutal and vicious attacks on protestors, innocent bystanders and passersby, according to court papers.
Wright's arrest was described in court papers as a "vicious ambush" that aimed to "instill maximum fear and trauma with the intended goal of causing chaos and mayhem."
Wright and others in the car including fellow plaintiffs, Tnika Tate, Kim Woods, Ebony Wilbourn and Javon Hill, were all arrested. Only Wright was charged. The lawsuit claims Wright was subject to verbal abuse in police custody. She was charged with disorderly conduct. That charge was later dropped.
In June, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability and Cook County State's Attorney's office launched separate investigations into police misconduct investigations related to the incident. Police Supt. David Brown stripped two officers involved in Wright's arrest of their police powers.
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