A New York woman who had been arrested for driving under the influence ended up brutally attacked by several sheriff’s deputies, a surveillance video clearly shows.
But that did not stop a jury from finding her guilty of assaulting the deputies.
Nevertheless, Jennifer Merrow is suing the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, despite the fact that a conviction makes it much harder to win that lawsuit.
But as her attorney says, the video speaks for itself.
The incident took place in December 2014 as Merrow was being processed in the jail. The full video, which can be seen in this WHEC10 news story, shows Merrow was complying with the entire routine, following every order issued to her as they frisked and fondled her in the name of officer safety.
Morrow does appear a bit wobbly, so perhaps she had been drinking that night. But at no point in the video did she show any sign of aggression or anger or attitude.
It appears as if the female deputy, Raelle Gagnier, became enraged because Merrow did not put on her jacket fast enough after having it removed to be searched.
In fact, Merrow appeared to not be able to find the sleeves to stick her arms through, perhaps a result of her being intoxicated.
It took 18 seconds from the moment she picked up her jacket to the moment Gagnier pounced on her, kicking her, punching her, kneeing her, grabbing her by the neck and throwing her down to the floor to continue the attack.
A male deputy then joins in the beating and then several more come rushing in like a pack of hungry wolves.
The deputies claimed she made a “derogatory comment” towards them, which she denies. But even if it were true, it still would not justify the beating.
And frankly, they deserve any derogatory comments hurled at them. They deserve to lose their job. They deserve to be locked up in that very same jail.
Instead, Gagnier, who made more than $63,000 in 2013, has learned she can do as she pleases because she is protected
Photographing her naked body
The lawsuit, which you can read here, states that Merrow was knocked unconscious and woke up in a cell naked with several male deputies leering at her, ordering to strike different poses so they could photograph her with their personal cell phones.
Not only did a jury find her guilty after watching the video, a citizen review board exonerated the deputies after watching the video, which just goes to show what a sham the entire system is in Monroe County.
And after the conviction, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office issued a press release, stating the following:
Rochester, NY- Today, a Monroe County Jury found 32 year old Jennifer Merrow guilty of Assault in the Second Degree and Driving While Intoxicated. On December 19, 2014, Merrow was driving near the intersection of Dewey Avenue and West Ridge Road. At that intersection, Merrow caused a three car accident when she rear ended a vehicle that was waiting at a red light. At the scene of the accident, Merrow failed field sobriety tests. When officers at the scene tried to obtain information from Merrow in order to secure her a safe ride home, she refused to provide any information. As a result, she was taken to the Monroe County Jail for processing. While being processed, Jennifer Merrow assaulted a Monroe County Jail Deputy, ripping her hair out and spraining the Deputy’s neck.
“Jennifer Merrow’s behavior on December 19, 2014 demonstrates her complete disregard for the safety of this community. This case is a reminder of the real dangers faced by Police Officers and Jail Deputies on a daily basis. The defendant’s conduct on the roadways and in the jail shows her lack of respect for others and their safety,” said Assistant District Attorney Christine K. Callanan. “Merrow will now be held accountable for her actions.”
Although she could have received seven years in prison, Merrow was sentenced to two days in jail and probation, but she is appealing the conviction.
She posted the video on her Facebook page last year after her conviction to ask her friends if there was something in the video she failed to see that shows her assaulting a deputy.
They didn’t see anything, but maybe they are biased.
Or maybe Merrow did rip the deputy’s hair our and sprain her neck. But if she did, it was while trying to protect herself from Gagnier’s vicious attack.