Ruby Jones, 74, Sues Oklahoma City Police for Allegedly Breaking Her Arm While Arresting Her Mentally Ill Son
The 74-year-old grandmother had been telling police that her son, 43-year-old Chauncey Jones, is bipolar depressive and did not have a gun when she found herself being forcefully placed in handcuffs.
Ruby Jones, a 74-year-old grandmother, is suing Oklahoma City police for excessive force after accusing them of breaking her arm during an encounter last August. Jones, who is Black, said officers were searching for her mentally ill son without a proper warrant when they violated her rights by handcuffing her, escorting her to a patrol car and breaking her arm in the process.
“I know it was God that spared my life because I would have been dead,” Jones said, addressing community leaders and press at a church last week. “I won’t forget this. The pain, the agony … they pulled [my arm] back and they pulled it all the way up my back.”
Jones recalled the events of last August, when authorities had arrived to her home looking for her son, 43-year-old Chauncey Jones. Her son has a mental illness, and had allegedly called a behavioral health center earlier that day, threatening to blow it up, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by KOTV.
Before hanging up, Chauncey also said “he wasn’t going to blow anything up,” the police report from the day said, according to the Oklahoman.
Police arrived to the home, stating they had a warrant and continued inside. Ruby asked to see the warrant, according to body camera footage shared by Solomon Simmons Law, the law firm representing Ruby. The lawyers also alleged in a Facebook post that officers never showed Ruby the warrant.
As officers were entering the home in search of Chauncey, Ruby could also be heard saying that he has bipolar depression and that he does not have a gun.
Officers deemed her to be interfering and they handcuffed her, yelling “I don’t care” when she told them she has a heart condition, the bodycam footage showed.
The bodycam footage then showed Ruby screaming in pain and falling to the floor while handcuffed, and officers could be heard in the background telling her, “You can walk.” Ruby said she was held in the patrol car, handcuffed, for nearly an hour.
"Oklahoma City has a long history of treating Black people and particularly, Black women, as less than," Damario Solomon-Simmons, Jones' attorney, said during a press conference Tuesday. "That's why we are filing this lawsuit. That's why we are calling on these officers to be terminated."
He added that they have also sent a letter to the Department of Justice, asking them to investigate the Oklahoma City Police Department.
Ruby is in counseling and continues to suffer physically and mentally because of that encounter, her lawyers told CBS News.
The Oklahoma City Police Department said in a statement released in February, along with the bodycam footage, that Ruby never asked for medical attention but did complain about her arm.
"Corrective action to include discipline and training has been taken to help ensure that future calls like this one are handled in a more appropriate manner," police said.
But Oklahoma’s NAACP President Garland Pruitt said in response, "You don't have to be trained to know not to go in there and abuse and elderly person," according to KOTV.
Authorities are not commenting further on the case due to pending litigation, KOCO reported.
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