CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — A mother is suing after she says an officer broke down her door, went inside her home and slammed her to the ground.
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The officer’s bodycam captured the violent encounter where the woman was handcuffed, and emergency medical services had to be called. Khanay Yancey has filed a federal lawsuit against Clayton County and the officer, Gregory Tillman.
The bodycam shows the entire episode. The officer is talking to Yancey at her home on Independence Drive in Clayton County in 2019. She closes the door on the officer. That’s when he breaks the door to get inside. “Oh you broke my door,” Yancey screams. “Put your hand behind your back,” Tillman shouts.
Tillman then tries to handcuff Yancey. He then uses his leg to sweep her legs from under her. She falls to the ground. All this happens as her son watches. “Hey, sir. My mom got health problems, sir,” the son says to the officer. “I sure do,” Yancey says.
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Yancey says she thought this could be the end. “I was just hoping that it didn’t turn out where, you know, to where I could have lost my life that day,” she said
Yancey’s attorney, Tanya Miller, says everything Tillman did that day was wrong. “He violated their policies. He violated the Fourth Amendment.”
Tillman came to Yancey’s home because a man who had moved out had returned to get a remote control and a chessboard. He asked for police assistance after Yancey wouldn’t let him inside. Yancey said the items weren’t there. She said the man had made threats the day before. That’s when Tillman broke the door and barged inside.
In a taped deposition for the lawsuit Tillman explained why he broke the door and went inside the home. “At that time, I believed that my safety was at risk,” he said.
Miller found that response odd: “You can’t be afraid of what’s on the other side and then break in the other side of the door,” she pointed out.
A police review board found that Tillman was not within policy in how he handled the incident. It first voted to recommend his termination and then voted to recommend a three-day suspension with additional training.
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Yancey says she is still suffering from being slammed to the ground. She is now walking with a cane. She was asked what she wants from the lawsuit. " I just would like to see the county take accountability for their actions,” she said.
The police department says it doesn’t comment on pending litigation. Channel 2′s Tom Jones reached out to the county attorney for a comment but did not hear back.
The charges against Yancey were dropped. She wants the county to settle the lawsuit so she can move on with her life.
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