A lawsuit filed in federal court by attorney Nikki Bonner on behalf of Georgia mother Kenya Harris alleges that Officer Ryan Jenkins of the Albany, GA Police Department abused her when she came to the police station to pick up her son who had been arrested earlier that day. Harris, who was pregnant at the time, says she suffered a miscarriage as a result of the incident. The suit, which names the City of Albany, Officer Ryan Jenkins, Officer Richard Brown, Jr., and Police Chief John Proctor as defendants, seeks $50,000 plus punitive damages for excessive force, infliction of emotional distress, and assault and battery.
According to Courthouse News Service, Harris was asked to come to the Albany Police Department in May of 2011 after her son, a minor, had been arrested. After a lengthy five-hour wait, Harris let officers know that she needed the process to speed up so that she could get back home as she has other children who required attention. Officer Ryan Jenkins then reportedly escalated a minor personality conflict by threatening violence. According to court documents, “Defendant Officer Jenkins stated that he did not appreciate the tone in which she was communicating with him, and further stated that if she continued he would take her head and ‘put it to the floor.'”
Harris again stated that she needed to leave, angering Officer Jenkins, who then allegedly got physical with the pregnant mother. Court documents describe what Kenya Harris said happened next, “Defendant Officer Jenkins, without provocation, grabbed plaintiff, who weighs less than one hundred twenty (120) pounds, by her neck and slammed her to the ground. Plaintiff momentarily blacked out and came to with defendant Officer Jenkins sitting on her back, and with his knee on her arm. Plaintiff was pregnant at the time… Defendant Officer Jenkins put handcuffs on plaintiff and slammed her against the wall. Plaintiff was placed into an interrogation room after she was beaten and handcuffed.”
Kenya Harris was then charged with obstruction and jailed overnight. She asked for medical assistance for her injuries while in custody but her request was denied. She says the beating at the hands of Officer Jenkins and the subsequent denial of medical attention resulted in a miscarriage. Additionally, her suit claims that she endured muscle pain, neck spasms, bruising, and a knee contusion during the assault. Said the complaint filed by Bonner on behalf of Harris, “With malice, defendants Officer Jenkins and with the compliance of Officer Brown, repeatedly slammed Ms. Harris, causing her severe physical harm and the loss of her baby, when less force was required and should have been used…”