Shocking surveillance video from an Iowa mall shows cops beating a mother in front of her 1-year-old daughter after she was caught shoplifting at a department store.
Brandie Redell, 34, admits that she was caught red-handed stuffing $388 worth of clothes into her 1-year-old daughter’s stroller at the Von Maur department store in Davenport on February.
But she didn’t expect to suffer a brutal beat-down at the hands of two burly Davenport cops who showed up while she was being held in a small back office at the store.
Redell is working with a Chicago-based civil rights group, Living and Driving While Black Foundation, to file a lawsuit against the officers.
“I don’t want to see anybody else in my shoes,” the young mother, who says she has trouble seeing out of her right eye since the attack, told CBS Chicago.
Redell said she still has trouble seeing out of her right eye since the attack.
In the video, obtained by Chicago-based watchdog group the Better Government Association, Redell is sitting in a chair exchanging words with the cops when an officer identified as Scott Crow pounces on her and appears to punch her several times in the head with both fists.
The other officer, who has not been identified, doesn’t strike her, but has his hands on her legs and waist.
Meanwhile, Redell’s infant daughter sits in a stroller just a few feet away.
“I was asking him why was this happening and I was crying,” the young mom told local WQAD television. “I was screaming, begging for someone to help me.”
Redell caught shoplifting on the department store’s camera. She admitted to stealing hundreds of dollars’ worth of clothes from the store.
During the minute-long attack, a store worker grabs the child and scurries out of the room, the video shows.
Redell eventually ends up on the floor with her hands cuffed behind her back.
A baseball-sized lump can be seen forming on her right eye. One of the officers eventually puts an ice pack on her face.
In his report, Crow claimed that he pounced on Redell because her “hands were clenched” and she appeared “willing to fight,” according to a copy of the report reviewed by BGA.
In the video, Redell’s 14-month-old daughter is just a few feet away. Her head is visible behind the desk, at right.
He said he struck her after she bit his finger.
Redell admitted to biting the officer, but only “to get him off me” after he tackled her.
According to Davenport police, Crow and the other officer were disciplined but remain on the job.
Scott County prosecutor Michael J. Walton also reviewed the video, but chose not to press charges, citing lack of evidence.
Officer Scott Crow reported that he struck Redell after she bit him. Redell admitted to biting the officer after her tackled her.
Walton told BGA the video didn’t dispute Crow’s claim that he hit Redell after she bit him.
Redell, who has two previous shoplifting convictions, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of shoplifting and is due in court on Aug. 23.
She told CBS Chicago that the beating appeared to be triggered by a call she made to her boyfriend to ask him to pick the child up.
The boyfriend, James Gibson, is a community activist who has conducted race sensitivity training with police.
Redell is seen here with her boyfriend James Gibson, whom she called to come pick up her daughter before the attack.
Redell said that when one of the officers heard his name, he told her “This is going to get ugly, real quick.”
There is no audio on the surveillance video.
“I don’t think the police were really thrilled that a white woman was calling a black man for help, especially one that they already weren’t fond of,” she told CBS.
Davenport’s Police Chief Frank Donchez said his department’s investigation didn’t find any evidence of racial bias.
“Our policy says you are to conduct yourself in a professional manner.” Was he within policy? No. Do we need to conduct an internal investigation? Yes,” Donchez told CBS.
Read more: NY Daily News