CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – It’s still hard to watch nine months later; Charleston police dashcam video of Freda Gilmore’s arrest last October, where police officers are seen punching her in the head while she’s on the ground.
This week the Charleston City Council approved an $80,000 settlement to Gilmore.
“This gives my client Freda Gilmore the chance to pick back the pieces back up and move forward with her life,” said the Gilmore family attorney, Michael Cary.
Cary says this case was not just about the money, it’s also about policy change.
“We need action, but I think the city took the right steps in appointing the new Chief of Police, Chief Hunt,” he said.
“We believe that the policy for use of force hasn’t been updated in quite some time, so we would like a committee appointed to look at those policies and see which ones can be updated.”
Michael Cary, Cary Law
Cary is currently working on another excessive force lawsuit, this time in Fayette County against the Smithers Police Department.
A copy of the lawsuit filed in federal court against the City of Smithers is alleging emotional distress, negligence and state constitutional violations in the arrest of Fayette County resident Alyson Westfall.
Westfall says she lost consciousness after Smithers police officer C.L. Osborne slammed her onto the ground following a traffic stop in November.
Westfall received seven stitches at Montgomery General Hospital for her injuries.
Cary says officers using excessive force is not just a race issue, and it’s not just in Charleston.
“It was about, in this case, providing justice for Freda Gilmore regardless of her ethnicity, regardless of her gender, because an injustice to anyone is an injustice to everyone you know,” he said.
News 13 contacted the city attorney for the City of Smithers who declined to comment on the case but confirmed it is pending litigation.
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