Woman pulled from car, thrown to ground by Chicago police at Brickyard Mall sues officers and city

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Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Mia Wright, injured during arrest at Brickyard Mall, sues city
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Mia Wright, who was dragged from her cousin's car and pinned to the ground by Chicago police officers at Brickyard Mall in May, is suing the officers and the city.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mia Wright, who was dragged from her cousin's car and pinned to the ground by Chicago police officers at Brickyard Mall in May, is suing the officers and the city.

"This has really been a nightmare still," Wright said. "I wake up and I see the police; it's still been real drastic."

"We waking up still with nightmares; just my cousin, she is going through so many different things," said Tnika Tate, Wright's cousin. "She's blind in one eye. It's just very hard to try and live this lifestyle that we were put into.

Mia Wright and four members of her family are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, including her mother and her cousin.

WATCH: Raw video of incident shot by bystander

"This has just been a real ordeal for us to have to deal with," said Kim Woods, Wright's mother. "I had to go through paperwork to make sure that she still have coverage so she can go back and forth to the doctor, dealing with her eye situation, and driving her back and forth where she needs to be."

According to the federal lawsuit, Wright's attorneys list several claims against the city and police, including alleged use of excessive force, and claims officers engaged in a cover-up by arresting and charging Wright with disorderly conduct, charges that were dropped in September.

The lawsuit also alleges state law violations including false arrest, battery and assault.

"Specifically, it highlights the disrespect and the degradation of Black women and people of color," said Nenye Uche, Wright's attorney. "This should absolutely have been avoided."

"We're taking the Chicago Police Department down," said Crista Noel of Women's All Points Bulletin. "I wish I could dismantle the Chicago Police Department right now."

Cell phone video from that day showed officers smashing out a car window, pulling Wright out with one officer putting a knee on her neck.

Wright said she was pulled out of the car by her hair and a piece of glass from the shattered window hit her eye.

WATCH: Women in car describe violent encounter with police

Wright says she's now blind in that eye, and unable to fulfill her dreams of becoming a paramedic.

"If we put up with this kind of behavior toward Black women, we're going to be putting up with this behavior towards all women," said Mary Shapiro, witness to the incident.

"For this to occur after the travesties of George Floyd, for them to put their knee on her neck, her back? It's a travesty, it's a shame," said Shay Allen, Wright's attorney. "These officers need to be held accountable."

The lawsuit also alleges Wright received more verbal abuse at the police station; a processing sergeant told Wright she was a "savage b--," the lawsuit said.

Police had been staking out the Brickyard Mall because of widespread protests and looting that weekend in the city. That included the ransacking of several businesses in the area of the mall.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.