Lawyer: Ind. woman stripped naked will sue

A woman who was forcibly stripped and left in a cell for seven hours by jail deputies will sue the sheriff and county responsible


By C1 Staff

NEW ALBANY, Ind. — A woman who was forcibly stripped and left in a cell for seven hours by jail deputies will sue the sheriff and county responsible.

The Courier-Journal reports that Tabitha Storms Gentry is accusing Floyd County Sheriff Darrell Mills and the Floyd County jailers of violating her constitutional rights for using excessive force, removing her clothes and humiliating her by parading her half naked in front of male officers.

Gentry alleges that even though her clothes were removed, officers did not perform a cavity search.

Mills said that his side of the story was not being told, and that it was difficult to address concerns when no suit had been filed.

Written reports from officers involved in the incident say that Gentry was drunk and belligerent from the start, kicking and cursing officers as they questioned her and moved her to a padded cell.

She was warned that “since she had resisted, threatened and attempted to kick an officer she was being placed in a smock and the female [officers] were going to remove her clothes.”

After Gentry was stripped and locked into the cell, she began to yell and pound on the door. Another officer wrote in his report that these noises were agitating the other inmates, so he released a “short burst” of pepper spray into the cell.

Mills said that the county jail does not have a policy to strip-search inmates, but clothing can be removed if the garments need to be checked for drugs and other items. A smock is issued to allow them to cover up.

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