All because the girl’s music was too loud in a public library while she was wearing headphones. The officer even put the girl in a submission move called the “Full Nelson”. And while the girl was bleeding, other officers just stood around and never provided first aid.
Now the officers involved are being sued along with the city of Lakewood and the library where the incident occurred.
The suit alleges that Lakewood, the Lakewood Library, and the police officers involved violated the plaintiffs Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit is also seeking claims for battery and civil liability for criminal conduct.
It all happened on November 7, 2016 at the Lakewood Public Library.
Officer Kevin Jones brutally assaulted the 17-year-old victim identified as J.G. to protect her identity. J.G. was listening to music with her younger 12-year-old brother D.J. at the library. The two were sitting on the library chairs behaving and minding their own business, they both had on headphones. Suddenly Officer Jones approaches J.G. and tells her to remove her feet from the chair, J.G. complies.
Unsatisfied for whatever reason, Officer Jones demands that J.G. leave the library. J.G. stands up to comply with the officer’s request. But it was then that Officer Jones violently grabs J.G. by the neck to physically remove her from the library. In doing so, Officer Jones pushes J.G. into a book cart and to the floor. He then drags J.G. closer to the exit and puts her into the “Full Nelson” submission move and falls to the ground on top of her with all his body weight.
Because of that, J.G. hit the ground face first and got her jaw broken in the process. The impact also caused J.G. to get a head contusion and a knee injury.
The lawsuit states that J.G. and D.J both suffer from emotional distress because of the violent encounter.
Once Officer Jones was done removing J.G. from the library, she was profusely bleeding from the face, but as other officers arrived they never provided any type of help or first aid to J.G.
Subodh Chandra is the attorney for the plaintiffs and released the following statement:
“What happened to J.G. should outrage every parent―indeed, any decent human being―in Northeast Ohio. As parents, we expect that our children will be safe at a public library and that library employees will protect them from violence, not attack them. There is no excuse for Officer Jones’ actions. But it is also shameful that a group of Lakewood Police officers could arrive at the scene, see their colleague berate a bleeding child, and not protect the child or offer first-aid. What happened to J.G. highlights a profound failure in Lakewood to train officers to treat children with dignity and respect; and it shows how far we have to go for true police reform in Northeast Ohio.
Officer Jones was suspended without pay for a week by the Lakewood Police Department, he was prohibited from working at the library, and he was ordered to undergo additional training.
The Lakewood Police Department said the following regarding the incident:
“When employees act outside of their training and responsibilities they are held accountable. The Lakewood Police Department trains their employees to de-escalate encounters and to only use force when reasonable and required.”
This is the City of Lakewood’s Response: