Things That Matter

A 70-Year-Old Grandmother From Florida Was Tased By Sheriff Deputies When They Didn’t Give Her A Search Warrant

A recent incident at the home of a 70-year-old grandmother celebrating her birthday a day after Christmas confirms once again that police brutality remains a problem for Black people. Just one day after celebrating Christmas, an elderly woman sat down with her family to celebrate her own birthday but ended up being tased not just once but three times by sheriff’s deputies. 

In an incident that took place the day after Christmas, Barbara Pinkney, aged 70, was tased multiple times by deputies at her own home.

The Florida grandmother was in the full swing of her birthday celebrations when officers with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office arrived at her home in Bradenton on Thursday morning. The officers had come to hBarbara Pinkney’s house in search of her grandson, 22-year-old Tevin Turner in an attempt to arrest him for violating the conditions of his probation. According to reports, Turner had been carrying a concealed weapon. When deputies came knocking on her door, Pinkney informed them that her grandson was not inside of her house. She then attempted to close the door on the officers. This is where things went off the rails.

According to NBC News, an arrest report says that Pinkeny demanded the officers show her a search warrant that would allow them to enter the house. In response, the deputies told Pinkney that they did not need one because the warrant they had obtained was to arrest her grandson. As NBC News reports, “according to the affidavit, Pinkney demanded a search warrant, which an officer said was unnecessary because authorities had already obtained an arrest warrant. When an officer warned her that she could be arrested if Turner was inside, she still refused to open the door.”

According to the affidavit in the NBC report, after Pinkney continued to deny the entry into her home to the officers, one officer grabbed her wrist and told her she would be going to jail. Pinkney, according to the report, pulled herself away from the officer’s grip and pushed him in the chest.  

According to cellphone video footage captured by by Turner’s wife, a deputy does grab the grandmother’s wrist. She in turn, does pull herself away from him. It is then that the deputy officer shoots Pinkney with a stun gun. In the video, Pinkney can be seen falling to the ground and screaming in pain.

The deputy arrest report states that the deputies tased Pinkney three times before they got her to the ground and subdued her.  

According to NBC, the officer tased Pinkney first in her left arm, then her back and then finally her upper back. ‘I was just hollering. I was scared. I didn’t know what else to do,’ Pinkney said of the incident in an interview with  WFLA. After the tasing incident, Pinkney was taken into custody. She has since been charged with felony battery on a law enforcement officer and obstruction of justice.

Pinkney was released on bail the next day. 

The African-American grandmother was released on $1,000 and has been scheduled for a January 17th court date.  According to Pinkney, this is her first time encountering a problem with law enforcement and she now has been so traumatized by the incident that she hasn’t been able to get a night’s rest. 

“I don’t know. Whenever I see police I just try to not look at them,” Pinkney told NBC affiliate WFLA

Elizabeth Francisco, Pinkney’s granddaughter-in-law said of the incident that “It’s not something that you see every day or something you expect to happen. Even if she wasn’t my grandmother. Dang, this is a 70-year-old woman.” 

According to recent reports, Pinkney’s grandson, Tevin Turner, has not been apprehended. 

Turner, who as a  criminal record that includes charges of cocaine and marijuana possession still remains at large and out of police custody. A report by NBC, states that the Sheriff’s officials suspect he might have been able to make an escape from Pinkney’s home when the altercation with the taser occurred. 

For footage of the incident, click here.

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