|Kamilah Brock was put in the crazy house after they believed they determined her story about owning a BMW and having President Barack Obama following her was a joke.|
The New York Police Department once again under fire for locking up a woman who told them constantly that she owned the ride. They didn't believe her. They put her in the psychological ward of a hospital. Once released, they hit her up with a $13,000 bill for service.
She is filing a complaint and probably a lawsuit against the police department.
Kamilah Brock is a Black woman who is a professional. She was riding her BMW around Harlem when she was pulled over by the law. The law accused her of blowing in the wind. They observed her "dancing" to the music and taking her hand off the steering wheel (i.e. distracted driving).
She was cited and forced to let her to relinquish her ride.
"I said I was dancing, I am at a light," says Brock. "He asked me to get out of the car." She was taken into custody that day and freed without charges, Brock says, but things got worse when she arrived at a police substation the next day to pick up her 2003 BMW 325Ci.
"I just felt like from the moment I said I owned a BMW, I was looked at as a liar," she says. That's when police apparently put her in handcuffs and had her taken to Harlem Hospital.
According to medical records, she was held at the hospital for eight days, injected with lithium and strong sedatives, and told she could only leave after denying three things: that President Obama followed her on Twitter, that she worked in banking, and that the BMW was hers (all of which she still says are true). The final insult, says Brock, was her $13,000 medical bill. But in its court filings, the city says she was "acting irrational, she spoke incoherently and inconsistently, and she ran into the middle of traffic on Eighth Ave.," the New York Daily News reported in July.
The lawsuit says it was these three assertions that were the basis for the city determining that Brock was delusional and to diagnose her with bipolar disorder.
But according to her lawyer Michael Lamonsoff, Brock had no history of mental illness. She did own the BMW. At the time, she was employed as a banker and had worked at Citibank, Chase and Astoria Bank. And Obama does follow Brock on Twitter, just as he follows 640,000 other people.
When Brock was finally released from the hospital, the lawsuit states, she was slapped with a $13,000 medical bill.
A white woman would not have been treated like that, Lamonsoff argues.
"If a white woman was trying to reclaim her BMW impounded by police, would she have been made a victim?" he said to HuffPost. "Would she have been questioned? Would she have been subject to sarcastic comments? Would she be made to justify who she was in order to ask for help? I don't think so. I do think race played a part in this."
Institutional bias against African-Americans is well-documented and contributes to the racial disparities in how laws are enforced. Just this week, James Blake, formerly the fourth-ranked men's tennis player in the world, was tackled and handcuffed at a midtown Manhattan hotel by police officers who confused him for a suspect in a crime. Blake, who is black, suffered cuts and bruises and was detained for about 15 minutes, until officers realized who he was.
"In my mind, there's probably a race factor involved, but no matter what, there's no reason for anybody to do that to anybody," Blake said after the incident.