LaGrange Police Illegally Arrest Grandmother Over Phone
Police claim they don’t need a warrant to seize property
The City of Lagrange is looking at a potential lawsuit after officers with the LaGrange Police Department arrested local nursing assistant Sharatha Dozier when she exercised Fourth Amendment rights by requesting a warrant before she would turn her mobile phone over to the officers.
The incident occurred on Sunday, June 12, when Dozier, a 47-year-old black woman, went to the LaGrange Police Department to check on her grandson. While waiting for information, officers gave her an iPhone taken from her grandson when he’d been arrested. Soon, the police officers told Dozier to turn the phone back over to them, threatening to arrest her for obstruction of justice if she refused. That’s when Dozier took out her other phone and started broadcasting the encounter on social media.
“Ms. Dozier didn’t break into police headquarters and steal evidence. The phone wasn’t locked up in some evidence locker, They gave it to her. Then, because she had the audacity to exercise her rights, they locked her up,” said Dozier’s attorney, Harry Daniels. “That’s not the way it works, otherwise none of us would be safe.”
“Police are there to protect and serve no to bully and steal.”
On the video, seen by more than 8,000 viewers on Facebook Live, Dozier can be clearly heard telling officers the she is not refusing to turn over the phone, but simply asking officers to follow the law which requires a warrant.
“I’m not being detained. I haven’t committed any crime at all,” Dozier says on the video. “I’’m not refusing to give y’all the phone. Let’s just do it the right way. Get a warrant. That’s all I’m saying.”
Claiming they didn’t need a warrant, officers then tried to prevent Dozier from leaving the police department by threatening to arrest her if she did.
After further discussion in which Dozier made it clear that she needed to leave and go to work, the officers walked Dozier to exit while repeating their threats and, as soon as she walked through the door, placed her under arrest injuring her wrist in the process.
Click to HERE to view the video.