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Elderly Woman Sues OKC Police Officers, Alleging Broken Arm From Excessive Force

Damario Solomon-Simmons
A still image from body camera footage from an Oklahoma City police officer shows 74-year-old Ruby Jones on the floor of her home after being handcuffed during an August incident at her home.

A 74-year-old woman is suing the City of Oklahoma City and three officers with the Oklahoma City Police Department, alleging they used alleged force and broke her arm while attempting to arrest her son at her home. 

The suit, filed in Oklahoma County District Court, names officers Dan Bradley, Ryan Staggs and James Ray as each either using excessive force or not intervening to prevent it in August of last year.

On body camera footage released by OKCPD, Jones stands in her doorway asking to see a warrant, which officers tell her they have but do not need to show her before they proceed past her, entering the home.

The footage shows Jones standing to the side, telling officers her son is unarmed and asking them not to shoot. 

"You're fixing to go sit in the car," one officer tells her, to which she responds "Uh-uh, no I'm not," before the officer reaches out and appears to grab her. 

Multiple officers then handcuff Jones and appear to press her to a wall, before she either falls or is knocked to the floor by officers as she tells them she suffers from heart problems, to which one officer appears to reply, "I don't care."

The officers pull her up by the arms, at which point she cries out in apparent pain, saying "I can't -- my arm, sir!"

As she is led to the car, Jones, who is Black, tells an officer, "I just told you he don't have a gun and I didn't want you to shoot him. I see the news all the time and that's all they do."

"No it's not. You are misinformed," the officer responds.

Jones is represented by Tulsa-based attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons.

"After police entered her home without showing her a warrant, elderly Ruby Jones pleaded with officers not to shoot her mentally ill son. In response the officers forcefully slammed her against a wall, violently broke her arm, and mocked her cries of pain," Solomon-Simmons said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Today, Ruby Jones, Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons, and Oklahoma City community leaders will announce the filing of a lawsuit against the City of Oklahoma City, and Oklahoma City Police Department Officers Dan Bradley, Ryan Staggs, and James Ray and call for the termination of the officers who assaulted Ms. Jones."

In a statement, OKCPD admitted the officers could have resolved the situation differently.

"Whenever our officers are involved in a use of force, such as in this case, de-escalation efforts are reviewed, and the incident is investigated and documented," the statement reads. "Upon review of the incident and the [body camera] footage, it was determined that the responding officers should have made greater efforts to de-escalate the situation prior to resorting to use of force. Corrective action to include discipline and training has been taken to help ensure that future calls like this one are handled in a more appropriate manner."

Chris joined Public Radio Tulsa as a news anchor and reporter in April 2020. He’s a graduate of Hunter College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, both at the City University of New York.
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