Georgia woman, 28, dies after falling out of police cruiser door left open by deputy

·3 min read

Brianna Marie Grier, who died of two skull fractures on July 21, was additionally placed in the police car without a seatbelt.

The door of a Georgia patrol car was never properly shut by police while transporting a Black woman experiencing a mental health episode, leading to the woman’s death after she fell out and sustained severe head trauma, per the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.

The bureau’s ongoing probe into the July 15 incident additionally found that 28-year-old Brianna Marie Grier, who later died of two skull fractures on July 21, was placed in the car without a seatbelt. Her hands were cuffed in the front of her body.

Two Hancock County Sheriff’s officers were dispatched to a Sparta residence after Grier reportedly began experiencing a schizophrenic episode the night of July 14, prompting her mother, Mary, to call for police assistance, per WMAZ.

According to the GBI’s probe, which involved multiple interviews, review of body camera footage and mechanical evaluations of the patrol car aided by experts, “Grier was on the ground refusing to get in the patrol car,” and stated her intent to self-harm during the arrest.

Per the GBI’s investigation, the deputies placed Grier in the rear passenger seat. Evidence reportedly “shows that the deputy thought he closed the rear passenger side door” of the vehicle before leaving the scene.

Body camera footage shows that “the deputies had no other contact with Grier from the time she was placed in the car until she fell out of the moving car,” per the GBI.

After a short drive, Grier fell out of the car and was airlifted to a hospital, after which, Hancock County Sheriff Terrell Primus visited the family, telling them that Grier “kicked her way out the deputy’s cruiser,” according to WMAZ.

Police Car (Adobe Stock)
Police Car (Adobe Stock)

“If she got out the car, they had to let her out the car. That’s my interpretation, because in a police car, you can’t open the door from the inside, so it had to be opened from the outside,” Mary, Grier’s mother, told the outlet.

“I just broke down and cried because it’s just ridiculous how she laying up there with tubes and pipes everywhere on her for no reason because it didn’t have to be that. It didn’t have to be that,” Mary added.

Grier’s father, Marvin, told NBC News that Grier had experienced schizophrenic episodes since being diagnosed with the illness almost a decade ago, however, ambulances were usually sent to assist when the family would contact emergency service personnel.

The GBI announced on Friday that it would publicize the body camera footage following reviews by investigators and the Grier family.

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