What started off as a noise complaint has now turned in to a federal police brutality lawsuit between a Clarksville woman and the city’s police department.
Jacqueline Hennick filed the federal lawsuit after she claims a patrolman threw her to the ground and beat her outside her home on South Elm Street. The trial date is now set for Sept. 30.
The problem began in 2011 in response to constant loud music in the neighborhood, Hennick said. One night, she used her car to block off the road to offenders until police could arrive.
“When the officer finally got here he made me the problem,” Hennick said. “The problem was my car was blocking the street.
“He said he would move my car and I said, ‘No, I’ll move my car,’” Hennick said. “As I walked towards my car he picked me up from behind, picked me up off my feet and slammed me down head first in to the pavement.”
Hennick, a 95-pound disabled woman, said the pain was so intense all she could do was scream as she said the officer repeatedly beat her head into the ground.
“I watched all of that happen right in front of me and I couldn’t do anything about it,” Randy Knecht, an eyewitness, said. “He was a police officer. I couldn’t get involved. I couldn’t step in and help her. I would’ve been arrested myself.”
In written statements filed by Officer Jeb Clark, he said he grabbed her because she was trying to make a run for her car.
Clark can be heard in the video expressing frustration toward Hennick, saying he’d had a tough day.
That night, Hennick was taken to the Johnson County Detention Center where she spent four hours behind bars on suspicion of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Hennick said deputies also threatened to charge her with terroristic threatening after she said she would take care of the problem herself next time.
The officer did file paperwork Friday (May 17) asking for a summary judgement in the federal lawsuit against Clark . If a judge decides to go that route, the trial would not happen. Instead, a judge would look at arguments presented by each side on paper and make a final ruling from there.