A California woman claims that police officers stomped on her stomach during a traffic stop last year and caused her to have a miscarriage. She is now suing the city of San Leandro, California over the loss of her child, other physical injuries, and emotional stress.
According to the Mercury News, Emerald Black had just left a doctor’s appointment on June 7, 2019 at the Alta Bates Medical Center in Oakland, when officers pulled over the vehicle her fiancee was driving because it had bad registration tags. Black, who was visibly pregnant at the time, says she was forcefully removed from the car despite telling officers that the couple was coming from the hospital. The lawsuit alleges officers proceeded to stomp on her stomach, pile on top of her and arrest her.
Due to the excessive force, Black, who was told by doctors that she was high-risk and prone to miscarriage, lost her unborn child days following the incident with police. She also suffered embarrassment and humiliation the lawsuit claims.
In a statement to the Mercury News, Black’s attorney Patrick Buelna noted that his client “had committed absolutely no crimes, nor was she even suspected of any.” Black did not receive any criminal charges.
“Based on our review of the allegations, the city has determined that they are without merit,” Deputy City Manager Eric Engelbert told the paper in response to the lawsuit filed on May 25. “As a result, the city has denied a claim for damages and plans to vigorously defend the lawsuit. Given the pending litigation, the city is not able to offer additional statements regarding this matter at this time.”
A change.org petition started on behalf of Black is demanding that Mayor Pauline Russo investigate the San Leandro Police Department’s treatment of Emerald Black. The petition is also addressed to Police Chief Jeff Tudor and the San Leandro Police Department. Nearly 900,000 people have signed the online request.