I-Team: Woman claims she was mistreated in Clark County Detention Center

LAS VEGAS - A Las Vegas woman claims she was mistreated in the Clark County Detention Center.  Vera Anderson, 29, told the I-Team she did not deserve to be pushed to the floor and put in a restraint chair. 

She said she was arrested last April for protesting against the military's use of drones.

"Being arrested is pretty much like my voice," Anderson said.

She told the I-Team the incident in question began when an officer tried removing beads from her hair.  Anderson said she pulled away and told the officer she was pulling her hair, Anderson claims, that's when the officer called her an animal and threw her to the floor. 

Video obtained by the I-Team shows a small group of officers around Anderson who was then put in a restraint chair.  The video also shows what appears to be a lock of hair on the floor.

"It was really degrading. I think I felt ashamed, like damn, what could I have done differently?" Anderson said.

Anderson complained to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department which runs the jail. 

In a letter dated May 11th, the department responded stating in part:

"After a thorough and impartial review, the investigation failed to produce sufficient evidence to clearly prove or disprove the allegation(s), or it was determined the actions taken by the employee(s) did not rise to the level of misconduct or was not a policy violation(s)."

Anderson also complained to the Citizen Review Board which issued a response dated August 30.  The Hearing Panel referred the complaint back to the Internal Affairs Bureau for a thorough investigation with ten questions and directives, including why IAB considers calling an inmate an "animal" acceptable, why Anderson was put in a restraint chair, and whether officers are trained on removing braids, weaves, and locks.

The I-Team requested information on the jail policy dealing with Anderson's complaint and received several heavily redacted pages with the exception on the policy pertaining to hair.  It states beads, and any other hair ornaments must be removed and stored in the inmate's property.

Anderson said she would not call the officers racist, but she wonders.  "I don't know if I could see that happening to like some little white girl," she said.

Anderson told the I-Team her goal now is to push for consequences related to the incident, and she said she wants the officer who she claims called her an animal and pulled her hair to be fired.

"I think they need to like make an example.  Like you can't just treat people like this because I feel like if that's happened to me, I'm sure there's worse that's been done," Anderson said.


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