A newly filed lawsuit claims that California police officers stomped on a pregnant black woman's stomach during a routine traffic stop, causing her to suffer a miscarriage. According to the legal documents obtained by CBS News affiliate KUTV, Emerald Black says that on June 7, 2019, San Leandro police officers pulled her and her fiancé over while they were on their way home from a doctor's appointment.
According to the lawsuit, they were pulled over for driving with expired tags. Black was a passenger in the car, not the driver. She states that the officers "yanked" her from the car, "stomped on her stomach, piled on top of her, and arrested her." Both she and her fiancé were forced to spend the night in jail, but "no criminal charges were filed against" Black. The suit goes on to state, "As a result of the officers' excessive force, Claimant Emerald Black had a miscarriage shortly after the incident." Additionally, Black "also suffered other physical injuries, embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress both from the incident and loss of her child."
The suit also states that Black "had committed absolutely no crimes, nor was she even suspected of any," and if the "officers were adamant about her exiting the car," they could have "simply, and gently, assisted" her in doing so. Instead, the suit states, "they treated her like she had just committed a violent felony, tore her from the car, piled on top of her and stomped on her stomach." It adds that Black "was devastated by the loss of her unborn child caused by the officers’ senseless and grotesque behavior."
Her lawsuit not only names a number of San Leandro officers but the very city itself as well. She reportedly has no plans to settle, rather she wants to see the case go to trial. San Leandro City Manager Eric Engelbart has since commented on the lawsuit, stating that their position is that the allegations Black has brought against the police department are baseless. "The city has denied a claim for damages and plans to vigorously defend the lawsuit," Engelbart stats. "Given the pending litigation, the city is not able to offer additional statements regarding this matter at this time."
A Change.org petition demanding "Justice For Emerald Black," has been launched, and — at the time of this writing — is well on its way to securing 2 million signatures. The online petition states that it is "demanding an investigation of the San Leandro" police department's treatment of Black. The petition's creator, Joseph Blake, has issued an update, stating, "The fight has not ended, justice has yet to be served."