Trending Topics

[Video]‘I’m Still on Crutches’: Woman Accuses Detroit Police of Bloody Assault, Files $10M Lawsuit  

Detroit police are under fire after being caught on video apparently assaulting a woman that was left bloodied and hospitalized.

Twenty-five-year-old Ashlee Sims of Detroit has filed an excessive force lawsuit seeking $10 million against the city and the officers she accuses of assaulting her. She also wants to see the officers fired and criminally charged.

“My mouth was so bloody, and nobody would help me,” Sims said about the aftermath of the incident.

Around 2 a.m. on the morning of Aug. 7, Sims was attending a block party in Detroit.

“A kid from my neighborhood, he passed away, so it was more like a family gathering,” Sims described the event.

Sims says police were on hand throughout the duration of the block party, but as the night progressed they eventually shut it down. It is unclear exactly what triggered police to end the block party when they did.

“As they were ending the party, they were pushing the crowd to one side, and my car was parked on the other side. I was trying to go the other way and that’s when I was hit by the officer,” Sims said.

Sims says one of the officers without warning punched her, causing her to fall to the ground. The impact of the punch and the subsequent fall onto the concrete caused her to fracture her left hip and pelvis. She also split her lip as a result of the punch by the officer, identified as Tyler Alene in her lawsuit.

“I was trying to get his badge number, and that’s when I was pushed by the group of officers, and I couldn’t get up after I got pushed, and that’s when the lady officer pushed me over,” Sims said.

While on the ground, another officer identified as Janelle Thomas was standing over a prone Sims ordering her to get up, but Sims claimed she was unable to get up onto her feet.

“[Officer Thomas] just pushed me, she was like, ‘Get her up!’ It was hard because I couldn’t stand up, I didn’t know I had a cracked pelvis, that’s why I couldn’t stand up,” Sims continued.

Ashlee Sims arrest
Ashlee Sims of Detroit files $10 million lawsuit against police for excessive force. (Photo: Body-Camera screenshot)

Despite being knocked down, Sims says she decided to take out her cellphone and record what was happening. She says she felt like she would need proof of the assault for when she reported the incident.

“The police got a lot of power so if I wouldn’t have gotten that video, they would have overridden anything I would have said,” Sims explained.

Sims credits her friends for helping her up and taking her to the hospital. She continued recording her experience on cellphone video while in the emergency room showing her busted and bloodied lip. Sims says she needed four stitches in her mouth and was wheelchair-bound for two months. She admits she is still reeling from her run-in with police.

“I’m still on crutches and I walk with a limp, and I still have the crack in my pelvis,” Sims said.

After learning what happened to her daughter, Aisha Sims, 45, rushed to the hospital to check on her daughter’s well-being. After her hospital visit, Aisha Sims says she immediately went to a police station to file a complaint against the officers who allegedly caused her daughter’s injuries. Once at the police department, Aisha Sims claims she was met with resistance by officers on duty taking her complaint.

“He took the report, I was recording the whole time. I said I need to know these officers’ names. They were trying to shut me up and get me out of there, and I said, ‘OK, I’m going public,'” Aisha Sims said.

Aisha Sims says she felt police tried to dismiss the incident, but her persistence in holding the officers accountable drove her to social media.

“They were trying to sweep it under the rug. He [the officer taking her formal complaint] didn’t want to see the video, I made a Facebook post and said, anybody that was at the block party at Central, please send me all video,” Aisha Sims said.

Aisha Sims claims that after turning to Facebook, Detroit police began pressuring her to stop speaking publicly about her daughter’s experience the night of Aug. 7.

“After I went public with the officer’s name, they had the nerve to call me and ask me, can I take the video down where the officer pushed my daughter because her feelings were hurt. You’ve got to be kidding, my daughter’s pelvis is broken, she can’t walk!” Aisha Sims exclaimed.

Sims’ attorney, Todd Russell Perkins says Detroit police has not been forthcoming with information related to the Aug. 7 incident. He says the police has not released any details of the investigation including police reports and bodycam video.

“We then sent out a Freedom of Information Act Request, we received something about the protocols for use of force and that’s it, no reports, nothing,” Perkins said in frustration.

Atlanta Black Star also sought a comment explaining the actions of the police seen in Sims’ videos, but our requests were not immediately returned by the Detroit Police Department.

Perkins is calling for better training for Detroit’s police force to prevent further incidents of excessive force on people living within the city which is 77 percent Black.

“We need some serious training. We need some of them [police officers] to separate themselves or we’ll separate them from the department,” Perkins said.

Ashlee and Aisha Sims hope the excessive force lawsuit sends a message that police officers cannot mistreat citizens. They hope their lawsuit also brings accountability which means the officers caught on video allegedly assaulting Sims be criminally charged.

“I want the officers who assaulted me to be arrested and charged for assaulting me. If I were to have assaulted anyone out there or an officer, I would be in jail still,” Ashlee Sims said.

Ashlee Sims was not criminally charged during the incident.

WXYZ reports one officer has been placed on desk duty and had their gun taken away pending an internal investigation, but none of the officers have been charged at this time.

Back to top