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Black woman says alleged stomping of stomach by officers caused miscarriage

Photo: Samuel Borges Photography via Shutterstock

An African American woman, Emerald Black, filed suit against the San Leandro police department, claiming multiple officers, who have yet to be identified, stomped her while she was pregnant. The suit claims that the attack caused her to miscarry.

Black is being represented by the law offices of well-known civil rights attorney John Burris. Her complaint was filed against the city of San Leandro this week in the U.S. District Court Northern District of California.

The incident played out on June 7, 2019, when Black and her fiance were traveling home from a doctor’s visit, where she was informed that she was a high-risk candidate for miscarriage, according to the lawsuit.

Black’s fiance was pulled over for bad registration tags and she was subsequently ordered to step out of the vehicle. The visibly pregnant woman, who was still wearing hospital attire, informed the officers that she would prefer to remain in the car. The lawsuit states that the officers refused her request then forcefully “yanked” Black from the car. To make matters worse, officers then “stomped on her stomach, piled on top of her and arrested her,” says the suit.

“It is important to note that Ms. Black had committed absolutely no crimes, nor was she even suspected of any,” Black’s lawyer, Patrick Buelna told VICE News. “She was simply a passenger in the car being pulled over for a minor vehicle infraction.”

“Ms. Black, a pregnant African-American female, was torn from the car even after informing officers that she was pregnant and had just left the hospital,” Buelna continued. “Ms. Black simply asked to remain in the car because she was pregnant and had just left the hospital earlier that day and learned she was at risk for a miscarriage. If officers were adamant about her exiting the car, they should have simply, and gently, assisted Ms. Black getting out of the car. Instead, they treated her like she had just committed a violent felony.”