WAYNE, MI (NBC) - A 25-year-old Wayne, Michigan woman said she was beaten and humiliated by two Westland police officers while she was in custody in August.
Krystal Gardner is suing the male officers and Westland Police Department over the assault she said happened August 18 while she was in custody after being arrested in connection with a domestic dispute involving her sister.
During a news conference Tuesday with her attorney, Arnold Reed, Gardner said she was ambushed in her holding cell by the two officers, who beat her until one of her eyes was swollen shut, her nose bled and she was nearly unconscious.
She said the officers also humiliated her by kicking her between the legs, causing her skirt to lift up and her vaginal area to be exposed.
"It was the most humiliating and most horrible situations I have ever been in," Gardner said.
Reed said the officers tried to cover up the incident by dropping the original domestic violence against Gardner and charging her with the assault and battering of a police officer.
Gardner admitted she had been banging on the walls of her cell, but it was because she is a diabetic and was being denied her medication and a blanket.
"I'm sitting down and he just comes in and jumps on me. The other officer comes in later and continues to beat me as well," she said. "I was screaming for help."
Gardner said she spent two days in the hospital recovering from her injuries.
Reed said he has jail video that will support his case.
"They humiliated her. They called her a series of names, including the 'B' word, a whore and animal," Reed said. "This was a complete breakdown of the justice system."
The lawsuit is asking for a monetary reward of $2 million.
Westland's police chief did not return phone calls, but, according to a police report, officers said they used force with Gardner because she was assaulting them.
The report states Gardner spit in the officers' faces.
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