Keyarika Diggles Wins $75,000 Settlement in Jasper Police Brutality Case

| by Allison Geller

Keyarika “Shea” Diggles, the Jasper, Texas woman who filed a civil rights lawsuit after being beaten by police officers in May, won $75,000 in a settlement.

The entire incident was captured on video, used my Diggles and her lawyer as the main evidence for the case. The police officers involved were apparently not concerned with their actions being recorded.

“Ms. Diggles was dragged like an animal into a darkened ‘detox’ cell, even though she was not intoxicated, and left battered and bruised on the floor for hours without medical attention,” says a statement issued by the Bernsen Law Firm. “To add further insult to injury, she was then stripped naked and illegally searched.”

Diggles said police came to her home on a Sunday morning because she had not paid a $150 traffic ticket and took her into custody. When she was calling her mother to ask for help to pay the ticket, Officers Brian Cunningham and Ricky Grissom became impatient and began physically assaulting Diggles, dragging her across the floor by her hair, slamming her head into a table and throwing her in a dark cell — all while her hands were tightly bound with handcuffs.

“With her hands tightly bound behind her, [Diggles] spent the duration of her time in the isolated cell with an injured scalp where her hair was ripped from her head, a brace [orthodontic] lodged into her upper lip, a tooth dangling by its root and handcuffs ripping into her wrists,” said Diggles’ lawyer, Cade Bernsen.

Cunningham and Grissom were fired a month after the incident, as was police dispatcher Lindsey Davenport. Criminal charges have not yet been brought against them.

The settlement is intended to cover Diggles’ medical expenses, as well as attorney fees, the cost of her bond and defense for wrongful charges of resisting arrest and other damages.

Diggles’ case is unfortunately not unique. The lawsuit called her “the latest victim of Jasper’s long-standing and now escalating racial tension.”

Sources: 12News, The Examiner, KJAS