Brandie Redell was in the process of shoplifting nearly $388 in women’s clothing from the Von Maur department store in Davenport, Iowa, back in February when she was caught red-handed. When it came time for questioning, though, it seems Redell was in for more than just a verbal lambasting from police.
Surveillance video captured while she was being questioned shows an officer punching the mother, right in front of her one-year-old baby, to the point of a swollen eye. Now, Redell is claiming that she’s lost 60 percent of her vision as a result of the incident — and she’s looking for retribution.
The officer who repeatedly punched her is identified as Scott Crow. He can be seen approaching the woman and hitting her repeatedly, while another policeman holds Redell’s legs during the attack.
The surveillance video offers up no audio, but it shows the woman on the phone; she says she was calling her boyfriend — a man known to police. The footage also shows Crow approaching the woman and delivering the first physical blows (again, there’s no audio, though, so it’s hard to tell everything that really happened).
Here’s how WQAD-TV recaps what allegedly unfolded:
There’s no audio on the store tape, but Redell can be seen on her phone, she says, to call her boyfriend to come pick their 14-month-old daughter up while she was being taken to jail. She says when one of the officers heard the name of her significant other, a man known to police, she says he told her “This is going to get real ugly, real quick.”
She is seen animatedly talking to the officer, identified as Scott Crow. She remains sitting down when the police officer approaches her, and the altercation begins, with another officer holding down her legs.
The officers involved have allegedly been disciplined, with Police Chief Frank Donchez claiming that, despite violating policy, they did not commit an act that warrants firing them. Among the officer’s elements of defense is the fact that Redell bit Crow’s finger. She admits doing so and also notes that she was wrong for shoplifting, but claims that she committed the act in an effort to get him off of her when all other efforts failed.
Video of the incident was released by the Better Government Association, a group that advocates for government transparency. WQAD-TV has portions of the surveillance video and an in-depth report about the incident:
Redell is now working with a civil rights group in an effort to launch a federal lawsuit against the Davenport Police Department. While she says she’d like to see Crow fired over the incident, the woman doesn’t expect that this action will take place. Based on Donchez’s reaction to the video and incident, she may be right.
“We have an Officers Bill of Rights. Progressive discipline is part of the Bill of Rights. I have fired ten people in the past five-and-a-half years,” he told WQAD-TV. “I’m not opposed to firing people when it warrants it. One of the things is that officer was bit. I have access to all the facts, people watching TV and video don’t have access to all the facts.”
Rendell has two previous shoplifting convictions behind her, as the Daily Mail notes, and she will be in court for this latest incident on Aug. 23.
(H/T: Daily Mail)