GEORGIA (CBS News) – The family of a Georgia woman who died after falling out of a moving Hancock County deputy’s patrol car is demanding answers. State investigators say deputies never closed one of the doors.
Brianna Grier somehow tumbled out of a moving patrol car, and died six days later. But Grier’s family is questioning if her death could have been prevented.
“We need answers. We need closure. We need to know the truth,” said Grier’s father Marvin Grier.
On July 15, 2022, the 28-year-old Grier, a diagnosed schizophrenic, was having an apparent mental health episode. Her parents called 911. Deputies handcuffed her, and after a struggle, squeezed her into the back of a cruiser.
But her mother regrets that decision.
“I hate that I called, I trusted them to take care of her, not to harm her.
Less than a minute after driving away, deputies found the mother of two face down along the road, breathing, but unconscious.
The Hancock County Sheriff later told Grier’s family she fell out after kicking open the door. But a review by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation blames deputies.
GBI Release below:
“As the death investigation of Brianna Grier continues, the GBI is releasing new details based on recent findings. Agents have concluded that the rear passenger side door of the patrol car, near where Grier was sitting, was never closed. Agents conducted numerous interviews, reviewed multiple body camera videos, and conducted exhaustive mechanical tests on the patrol car. Automotive experts and the Georgia State Patrol also assisted with tests to determine if there were possible mechanical malfunctions. In conjunction with these investigative acts, GBI agents concluded that Grier was placed in the backseat of the patrol car, handcuffed in the front of her body with no seatbelt.
The investigation also reveals that after Grier was arrested, two Hancock County deputies were attempting to put Grier in the patrol car. Both deputies and Grier were at the rear driver’s side door of the patrol car. Grier was on the ground refusing to get in the patrol car. Grier made a statement that she was going to harm herself. To put Grier in the patrol car, one of the deputies walked around and opened the rear passenger side door.
The deputy quickly returned to the rear driver’s side door. Both deputies put Grier in the backseat of the patrol car. The deputies closed the rear driver’s side door. The investigation shows that the deputy thought he closed the rear passenger side door.
The deputies left the scene and drove a short distance. Body camera footage reveals the deputies had no other contact with Grier from the time she was placed in the car until she fell out of the moving car.”
The Hancock County Sheriff’s office had no comment. But Grier family lawyer Ben Crump is outraged.
“When a family is in police custody, the citizen is in police care, and clearly they did not take care of Brianna,” said Crump.
This body camera video does not show the moment Grier fell out the door. Other police videos may, and Grier’s family wants to see them.