*In the St. Louis area, Marvia Gray, a 68-year-old black woman, has filed a lawsuit against four Des Peres, MO police officers that beat her and her son Derek Gray over a false claim that they stole a large screen television from Sam’s Club, reports KMOV. com.
The Grays’ story is that they purchased a television from Sam’s Club on March 23. The 65 inch TV would fit into their SUV, so they made arrangements with store employees to leave it and come back for it later.
Marvia Gray’s lawsuit says Derek Gray came back for the TV later that day but the television had been moved from the front of the store. When Derek asked store employees about the television, the lawsuit says the employee suspected Derek was stealing the TV. Eventually, another store employee intervened to confirm that Derek had bought the TV earlier that day.
As Derek was taking the TV out of the store to load it into the car, he was followed by Officer Michael Clayborne. The lawsuit states the employees told Officer Clayborne that Derek and his mother had bought the TV earlier in the day.
“Despite knowing this information, Officer Clayborne made an emergency phone call to the Des Peres Police Department. During this emergency call, Officer Clayborne falsely reported that he had ‘witnessed Gray steal a TV and place it in the parked vehicle,’” the lawsuit reads.
The story continues that Derek then drove to his mother’s house to drop the TV off and told her what happened at the store. At that point, the lawsuit says, it was decided by the Grays to return the television to Sam’s Club for a refund.
That’s when things went left, according to the lawsuit, which says that as the Grays were returning the TV, four police officers “without cause or adequate provocation and in the presence of countless witnesses, violently and physically seized Marvia Gray and Derek Gray, throwing them to the floor, beating them, handcuffing them, then arresting them. These actions are captured on closed-circuit video taken by the surveillance cameras in the store and cell phones of onlookers.”
Those four officers are identified as officers Clayborne, Brandley Summers, Ryan Righesisen, and Bill Maull.
Des Peres Police Department posted a statement in March following the incident. Click here to read.
During the confrontation, both Grays were hurt. The lawsuit contends that Marva Gray suffered severe injuries to her tailbone, her back, her rotator cuff, her knees and her arms, among other injuries. Derek Gray suffered three shattered front teeth, a head injury requiring 12 stitches and seven staples as well as a cut above his right eye that required seven stitches along with severe neck and back pain.
Specifically, Marvia Gray is suing the city of Des Peres and the four police officers.