FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Bar Association
December 29, 2014
NATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION DEMANDS JUSTICE FOR NATANIA GRIFFIN AND HER FAMILY
The Griffin Family Are Victims of Police Brutality in DeKalb County, Georgia But Have Not Received a Legal Resolution or Outcome
WASHINGTON, DC — In the National Bar Association’s (NBA) ongoing pursuit of transparency and accountability in law enforcement agencies in every state, the NBA is highlighting individuals in different states who have suffered from excessive and/or deadly use of force at the hands of police, and still have yet to receive a just and legally sufficient resolution or outcome.
This week, the National Bar Association highlights Natania Griffin, an example of DeKalb County, Georgia. On July 26, 2013, DeKalb County Sheriffs burst into her home at 1:30 a.m., which was occupied by her five-year old daughter and two adult sons. Officers arrived to arrest Griffin pursuant to a civil warrant for a fifteen day old unpaid civil fine in the middle of the night. A video taken by one of Griffin’s sons has audio which one of the officers saying, “say something else. I’m [going to] tase your ass. I wish I could just cane ya’ll.” [emphasis added]
DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown admits to the Huffington Post online newspaper, that his officers’ verbal abuse got “out of hand” and that “[t]he verbal comments by the officers, I am very concerned with.” However, Sheriff Brown stated, “I do not characterize their language as a threat, because I think [the officers] were just angry and experiencing an adrenaline rush.” Griffin’s family states the officers pistol-whipped Griffin’s sons, kicked them, and one officer placed his foot on one of the sons’ heads.
At this time, it is unknown whether any of the officers who are heard on the audio recordings have been investigated, prosecuted, or otherwise brought to justice.
The mistreatment of Natania Griffin is another example of why significant policy changes, trainings, and legislative reforms are needed in states across the country.The NBA will continue to emphasize these examples of the miscarriage of justice until local and state governments implement the necessary changes, and law enforcement agencies begin actively working with communities for peaceful dialogue, trust and respect of citizens’ rights.
“The National Bar is adamant about its desire for transformative justice. While we are sadden[ed] by the growing number of police brutality cases, we are promoting peace on every street corner in the world. The only way to foster systemic change is to organize, educate, and mobilize. We are imploring everyone to continue to fight against the injustice in DeKalb County, Georgia and throughout the United States by banning together and fighting for: 1) appointment of independent prosecutors and investigators in officer involved shootings; 2) enactment of local and state laws requiring de-escalation of force training; 3) stricter mental health testing; 4) enactment of federal laws related to body and desk cameras; 5) training related to elevation and excessive force; 6)a clear definition of excessive force; and 7) making it a felony for another to watch a police officer engage in police brutality,” stated Pamela Meanes, President of the National Bar Association.