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Woman claiming police abuse gets two years

Woman claiming police abuse gets two years

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The woman who was punched by a Davenport police officer during her shoplifting arrest in February was sentenced to prison Friday as a civil rights activist vowed to "financially break" the city for that and other incidents he said have come to light.

Brandie Redell, 34, of Davenport, was sentenced to two years in prison by District Court Judge Douglas McDonald, who noted her lengthy record in the sentencing. She was sentenced on two counts of third-degree theft for the Feb. 18 incident at the Von Maur store at NorthPark Mall, Davenport, and an April incident at a Walmart store on Elmore Avenue, Davenport.

"You keep on doing the same thing over again," McDonald said. "You need to know that if you do this, there is a price to be paid."

McDonald went against a prosecution recommendation to make the two terms consecutive. Assistant County Attorney Steve Berger made the recommendation based on a lengthy criminal record of theft, deceptive practices, perjury and obstructing justice. In order for her to clear up custody issues for her daughter, Redell was allowed to report on Sept. 10 rather than immediately being taken into custody.

Following the sentencing, David Lowery, a civil rights activist from Davenport who runs the Living and Driving While Black Foundation in Chicago and who has taken up Redell's cause, said he knows of cases similar to Redell's involving Davenport police officers. He anticipates a federal lawsuit will be filed soon.

He said they involved white women who were with black or Hispanic men, saying the officers "were jealous." He also said he wanted Officer Scott Crow and another officer involved in the Redell incident fired.

"I've had four or five women who were beaten by the Davenport Police Department that will become clients of the (Anthony J.) Peraica law firm (in Chicago,)," he said. "We're going to financially break the city of Davenport."

Davenport Police Chief Frank Donchez said he doesn't know of any incidents that Lowery would be referring to.

Crow received undisclosed disciplinary action for the February incident that was reported earlier this month by Chicago-area media that broadcast surveillance video and posted it on websites.

In the video broadcast by the media, a Davenport police officer can be seen using his fists to strike a woman as they scuffled on the floor.

According to a police report of the incident, Redell was belligerent, aggressive and profane. The officer went to subdue her, using a pressure point behind her ears. His finger was close to the woman's mouth, and she bit him. At that time, he wrote, he punched her twice in the side of the head to free his finger. He added another punch to allow another officer to handcuff the woman.

Redell has admitted biting the officer, but denied being aggressive. In court Friday, she took responsiblity for the shoplifting incidents and said she has been in group therapy for mental health issues and is now taking the proper medication.

A statement released Friday by the city supported the disciplinary action taken against the officer and stated that the incident was referred to Scott County Attorney Mike Walton, who decided not to file charges against the officer.

"Following the arrest of Redell and prior to the editing and release of the store surveillance footage by the Chicago media, a thorough investigation was conducted by Davenport Police Department Command staff; including interviews with all witnesses and a review of the 50-minute surveillance video," the release states. "Discipline was instituted as a violation of department policy did occur. The Officer received retraining."

During Friday's hearing, several people spoke on behalf of Redell, including the Rev. Rogers Kirk, who said she has been a member of Third Missionary Baptist Church in Davenport for two years, a deacon who said she teaches Sunday school with her 1-year-old daughter, and a woman who was in a therapy group with her.

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