We just got Kirenda Welch's mugshot from #JSO. On the right is a photo Welch says she took of her injuries after she was released from jail. You can see a bruise by her left eye on the photo on the right that is NOT THERE in her mugshot on the left. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/WCgDZQLfSx— Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) July 9, 2018
A woman in Jacksonville, Florida, was arrested on June 29th, for making a wrong turn. However, the police treated her inhumanely for this minor traffic violation.
Kirenda Welch was reportedly assaulted by a rookie Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Corrections officer brutally. She was five months pregnant at the time.
Welch was driving without a license along with her two sons. At the time of the arrest, the woman claimed she didn’t know that her license had expired. She was arrested afterwards for the traffic violation but she never thought of becoming a “victim of police brutality.”
What followed is appalling, to say the least.
In the prison, the 36-year-old complained about the prison attire because she was allergic to the material. That’s when things started worsening. A newly appointed officer, Catherine Thompson, who had arrested Welch, refused to give her a new prison uniform.
Instead, she sent Welch in a 4-point-restaints where prisoner’s wrists and ankles are shackled and chains. Welch accused Thompson of beating her in the prison while calling her racial slurs. Thompson allegedly beat Welch 10 times and then pepper sprayed her eyes as other officers looked on.
“By the time I could ask her to loosen up those shackles, she punched me dead in my forehead, closed fist,” alleged Welch.
“I was in shock that was happening to me. I fell. I was back on my back. She grabbed my head with both her hands and slammed the left side of my head into the concrete wall and kept punching me,” she continued.
After Welch made these harrowing accusations, Thompson who was serving her probationary period with the sheriff’s office was fired. She was charged with misdemeanor battery and a misconduct felony.
Civil rights attorney, Benjamin Crump, said the beating should be investigated as a hate crime.
The matter is being investigated and the surveillance video will be released at some point. Crump called on the Justice Department to investigate the training practices of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, pointing out that Thompson had purposely removed Welch out of sight of the surveillance cameras.
The “savage beating” clearly constitutes as “illegal excessive force,” he said.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Scott Olson/Getty Images