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‘Trying to Arrest Me for Walking’: Memphis Woman Involved In Violent 2020 Arrest Speaks Out, Says Officers Tackling Her to the Ground Caused Her to Suffer a Miscarriage

A Tennessee woman whose violent March 2020 arrest was captured on camera alleges she suffered a miscarriage following the encounter.

Kesha Gray, 31, previously filed a lawsuit against Shelby County and Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies, alleging her rights were violated when she was subjected to excessive force and unlawfully arrested and detained without reasonable suspicion or probable cause.

“I think the overall incident could have been avoided if [officers] had the proper training,” Gray told Atlanta Black Star. The mother of three children, ages 8, 11 and 13, said the violent arrest caused her to have a miscarriage.

Kesha Gray, 31, previously filed a lawsuit against Shelby County and Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies. Photo: Daily Memphian screenshot

On March 29, 2020, Gray was walking down a street in the Memphis suburb of Cordova when she was approached by deputies responding to a call about a domestic dispute.

She and her fiancé had been driving down the street looking for real estate when they got into an argument. Gray got out of the car to cool off and walk down the road.

According to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by Atlanta Black Star, witness Chris Hodge who reported the alleged domestic abuse made up a story that involved extreme violence and an attempted kidnapping. Hodge also pulled up to Gray’s fiancé’s vehicle, brandished a gun and instructed him to leave, the suit says.

”Shortly after threatening the life of Fiancé, Hodge called emergency services and
concocted an elaborate domestic assault that he described as an attempted kidnapping that involved extreme physical violence to include, but not limited to, a headlock, choking, and punching, presumably to make a record to justify his brandishing of a firearm should either Plaintiff or her Fiancé report him to law enforcement.”

A witness recorded as deputies confronted Gray. Gray told FOX13 she tried to explain to officers that there was a misunderstanding, but the officer pressed her to make a report although she said she did not want to make one.

“I did not identify myself because I did not want to make something into nothing,” Gray said.

The video was taken by someone driving on the road beside the sidewalk where Gray was walking, and shows the deputy walking behind Gray.

“He’s trying to arrest me for walking,” Gray says in the video. “Because I won’t give him information.”

Two other patrol vehicles then pulled up beside Gray. Three deputies then approached and struggled with Gray as she told them not to touch her.

The motorist exited the vehicle and continued to record. “She’s pregnant…They won’t let her walk,” the driver said. The deputies pinned Gray down in the street as she pleaded with deputies to get off of her. About two minutes after the video began, Gray was placed into a patrol car.

Gray was charged with assault, disorderly conduct and resisting, but according to a lawsuit filed last year, the charges were dismissed. She said being tackled to the ground in the street ultimately led to her miscarriage.

Gray told Atlanta Black Star of the traumatizing ordeal, “Unfortunately, it did result in a miscarriage.” She added, “That’s something that I’m still working through, trying to process now.”

“We’d been trying to conceive for a while. As you can imagine, I was extremely happy when that happened and you just don’t expect life to be ripped from you that quickly and in that manner.”

The suit seeks unspecified damages for the alleged violation of Gray’s constitutional rights. She is calling for deputies to receive better training.

Gray said she tried to shelter her three children from what happened to her, but they found out through their friends. “This was something we had to shelter them from,” she told Atlanta Black Star. “We had to go on and function within our household as if it was normal.”

She told FOX13, “I feel like there are two justice systems. There are two Americas and I immediately became a part of that other America.”

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