LIMA — The Lima branch of the NAACP unit #3170, is calling on the U.S. Justice Department to investigate allegations of police brutality against a Lima woman who happens to be African-American.
Kenyatta Secession, was sought for three failure to appear warrants, and when officers Matt Boss and Brandon Stephenson tried to take her into custody Sept. 28 of last year, she reportedly resisted and was taken to the ground, causing some scrapes to her face.
Secession was nine months pregnant and gave birth two weeks after the incident.
An internal investigation against the officers yielded disciplinary action, not for their actions in taking the woman down or using excessive force, but for not having their in-car camera audio working properly. Boss was suspended for three days without pay while Stephenson received a verbal reprimand for failing to activate his body mic in his patrol car.
At a news conference Saturday at Grace Worldwide Ministries, where the Lima NAACP holds its meetings, Secession appeared alongside NAACP members who want to see more done.
“The police department can not police themselves,” said Ronald Fails, president of the Lima NAACP chapter. “We have a systemic issue going on in this community and it’s directed toward the minority population.”
“I have never seen any white female treated in that manner by local police anytime, anywhere. There seems to be a pattern of behavior that has been exhibited toward the African American community that must stop.” Fails added.
“I hope for better law enforcement. I hope that other officers will learn how to treat people and respect people and protect us in the right way. That’s what I’m hoping to gain from this. It’s not about money or anything like that. It’s about protection,” said Secession.
Fails says the NAACP will go before Lima City Council Monday night to express their concerns.
“There must be legislation put in place to prevent these kinds of things,” Fails noted.
Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin did not return our calls seeking comment for this story.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.