TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A vocal activist from Black Lives Matter who says Tampa police officers recently re-aggravated the injuries she sustained when a truck pulled into her during a demonstration in June appeals a prominent civil rights attorney for help.
Jae Passmore's attorney confirmed to 8 On Your Side that attorney Ben Crump, who represents the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, has joined their legal team.
"It was inspiring to see that someone outside of this town could see clearly what was happening and that justice was not being given," Passmore told 8 On Your Side.
Ten days ago, TPD arrested Passmore after a counter-protest confrontation in the city center.
"What they did to her was horrific for what she's being accused of," her lawyer Gretchen Cothron told 8 On Your Side at a Saturday night rally in Joe Chillura Park.
One "Back the Blue" believer's allegation is that Passmore hit him in the back of the head. The video released by the Tampa police shows how she shoved a man in the back.
When officers arrived to make an arrest, police said Passmore fell to the ground and handcuffed her for resisting.
Passmore denies this, and Cothron said the video shows officers detained her for almost 12 minutes before an ambulance arrived.
"I yelled at them that I had a hip injury to let them know I wasn't going to get up and run or that they didn't have to be that aggressive," Passmore told 8 On Your Side.
Passmore suffered a concussion and other injuries when a red truck drove into her during a demonstration in Hyde Park in June.
Lawyer Crump shared a video about the hit and run on Twitter on Thursday.
UNREAL. This Tampa driver purposely met a peaceful BLM protester. Jae suffered a concussion and other injuries! @TampaPD knows the driver's identity but refuses to provide it, citing an "open investigation". # BlackTwitter detectives, who can find the truck driver's identity? pic.twitter.com/j1oPnWABRm
– Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) August 21, 2020
"@TampaPD knows the driver's identity but refused to provide it, citing an 'open investigation'," Crump tweeted. "# BlackTwitter detectives, who can find the identity of the truck driver?"
Passmore said their first request to TPD was "to give us the name so we can file a civil lawsuit against it".
A Tampa police spokesman told 8 On Your Side, “Ms. Passmore has refused to give the department an affidavit. "
Cothron explained why her client did not sign an affidavit when she spoke with the detective in charge.
"She did not sign the affidavit because we feared they would turn her over and try to charge her with gathering or obstruction of the street," said Cothron.
Cothron said they had sought immunity from these offense allegations. She also said Passmore would provide an affidavit to prosecutors.
The case will be turned over to prosecutors for further investigation, a TPD spokesman said.
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