Woman falsely detained in Homewood Walmart speaks at press conference

Local News

HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — Brenda Rivers spoke publicly for the first time on Friday since an incident at a Walmart in December led her to file a lawsuit against the City of Homewood and a Homewood police officer.

In a Facebook Live video from the December incident, Rivers can be seen in handcuffs, being held on the floor by Homewood police officers. Officers in the video say Rivers is being arrested for failure to comply. The officers were investigating a report of a stolen wallet inside the Walmart on Lakeshore. Rivers did not steal the wallet.

On Friday during a press conference, Rivers said the incident changed her life. She said she went to the emergency room after the incident and that she suffered from an injured shoulder, an injured hand and a contusion to one of her ribs.

“Because of what I went through — what I suffered mentally, physically — the way that it changed my life, my concept of police officers and basically my entire life, it just changed,” Rivers said.

The lawsuit seeks compensation for Rivers’ medical bills, plus additional damages.

After the December incident, the Homewood Police Department publicly apologized and reassigned the officer who was involved. Rivers said Friday that she never received a personal apology from any member of the Homewood Police Department.

“Accepting responsibility is more than just saying, ‘Well we apologize,’ said Brett Turnbull, an attorney for Rivers. “We hope it will garnish some attention to the situation, and that this officer and any of the other officers who behave in this way– that it will limit that in the future.”

Homewood’s mayor, Scott McBrayer, said he was prohibited from commenting on any pending legal issues.

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