Paso Robles cop’s use of force: Still hurts one year later
August 18, 2011
A woman who stole a bottle of water on a hot 90-plus degree day and was thrown to the baking asphalt by a Paso Robles cop, and held there as she pleaded to be moved off the pavement, still suffers from the trauma and burns a year later. [New Times]
Rodia Monterrosobragg, who goes by the name Rodi Bragg, carries the scars from that day, July 30, 2010, and has been to doctors for treatment of the burns, as well as receiving help from a therapist for anxiety, depression and Post Traumatic Disorder.
New Times reporter Colin Rigley obtained video of the incident showing Officer Jeffry Bromby cutting through daytime traffic, dodging cars on the road, responding to a call about a shoplifter who had been detained and was being combative with employees.
Upon his arrival, Bromby tried pulling Bragg, who had been sitting on the ground, up to her feet. He told her to put her hands behind her back so that he could put her in handcuffs.
She started for the curb, pleading: “I need my shoes.”
Bromby violently yanked her back and said: “You know what? You’re gonna go down again.” Then, without any apparent provocation, he grabbed her by the back of the neck and threw her to the ground.
According to court records filed by Bragg’s public defender, the temperature that day hit 93 degrees. And Bromby held Bragg face down, bare armed, lying on asphalt that had been baking in the afternoon sun. Despite her asking to be let up numerous times, he held her there.
“OK, well maybe you’ll learn,” Bromby responded to Bragg’s pleas.
Bragg continued to squirm and begged to be allowed off the ground.
“Please—officer please—this is really hot,” she said.
Paso Police Chief Lisa Solomon reviewed Bragg’s video and issued a brief statement—though no condemnation—about Bromby’s actions.
“While the use of force in this case is deemed within policy to gain control of the prisoner, it is unfortunate that it took place on a hot surface,” she said in a prepared statement. “There were other options the officer could have considered in handling the prisoner after the take-down that might have resulted in a better outcome.”