Tabitha Gentry claims that she was stripped naked and left for hours inside a Floyd County Jail cell in Indiana on March 30.
Gentry had been picked up by Floyd County deputies and arrested for alleged disorderly conduct and resisting law enforcement after a domestic disturbance
"This is 4:07 a.m., and this is an Indiana State Police officer that picked her up," Gentry's attorney Laura Landenwich told WDRB while showing them the jail cell video (below).
"Almost immediately upon entering the jail, she's assaulted by four officers," sad Landenwich. "They grab her around the neck, they grab her body."
The officers then escort Gentry to a padded room.
"They hold her down," Landenwich described. "There are two male officers and two female officers and they forcibly remove her pants, her shoes, her underwear and her shirt and bra."
"Terrified and humiliated, she's banging on the door asking someone to give her her clothing and someone comes to the door and says, 'If you don't shut up, I'm going to pepper spray you,' and sure enough, they open the door, spray pepper spray into the room and they leave, and they leave her in there for 40 minutes, naked, in a cell filled with pepper spray."
Landenwich claims Gentry was then given a small smock to wear, which barely covered her breasts and groin, and walked out of the jail cell to wash the pepper spray out of her eyes in front of the male staff. Gentry was then placed back in the jail cell for five more hours before given a prison outfit to wear.
"Now this is a woman, who under our system of law, is innocent until proven guilty," claimed Landenwich. "She's charged and she's charged with a misdemeanor crime that's not a violent crime."
"What we also see on the video is there is another inmate also being held naked prior to her entering that cell," added Landenwich. "These are egregious constitutional violations."
Floyd County Sheriff Darrell Mills told WDRB that his deputies "don't strip search," but added it depends on the circumstances and claimed his staff acted correctly.
Police reports claim that Gentry was drunk and belligerent, and kicked and cursed police officers as they questioned her. She was then moved to the padded cell and stripped.
According to The Courier-Journal, Landenwich plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of Gentry against the jail for violating her constitutional rights, excessive force, removing her clothes and humiliating her.
Landenwich says the officers were under no threat from the naked woman while she was locked in the cell. Landenwich also represented Ashley Storms, a cousin of Gentry, who was locked up in the same jail following a misdemeanor arrest in 2013.
Storms was stripped of her clothing, tased and left naked in a jail cell for eight hours, noted WHAS 11.
Landenwich sued the jail for Storms and settled for an undisclosed sum.