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Teen: Excessive police force led to miscarriage

Monday, June 25, 2012

Kwamesha Sharp, 17, said she lost her unborn baby after she was beaten by a police officer in south suburban Harvey, Ill.

Sharp is suing Harvey and the officer. She said the officer used "excessive force" when he arrested her, and that caused her to miscarry.

Sharp was at a family friend's house when police were called there for a disturbance. Sharp saidan officer grabbed her and threw her on the ground for no reason. She believes that led to her miscarriage.

"I think about that baby all the time," Kwamesha Sharp said. "I don't even want no more kids after that 'cause it's a hurtful feeling."

In a complaint, Sharp alleges that after a doctor's appointment on December 30, 2011, She walked to the home of a family friend as police were responding to an assault call there. Sharp says as she tried to figure out what was going on the Harvey police officer, referred to as Officer Jones, attacked her.

Sharp said even though he was told she was pregnant, the officer grabbed her and put her hand behind her back.

"I flip over to my side, instead of being on my stomach, he flipped me around because he felt me moving, and had his knee in my stomach," Sharp said.

Handcuffed and thrown in a squad car, Sharp says she asked for medical assistance but was denied.

A week later, at less than 7 weeks pregnant, Sharp began to bleed and have pains. At the hospital she was told she suffered a miscarriage. Her attorney says the weight and force of the officer caused sharp to lose her unborn baby.

"She already has one child, and she was counting on the joy and experience of motherhood with the rest of her life with her new baby, and Harvey Police Dept and Officer Jones robbed her of that," Michael Oppenheimer, attorney, said.

The Harvey Police Department has seen share of problems in the past. Earlier this year, the department of justice released its results of an investigation, saying it has "serious concerns regarding the potential for excessive uses of forces by Harvey Police Department officers" and that the police department needed to revise policies and procedures.

The city attorney says they have looked into Sharp's claim and told ABC7, "...Miss Sharp attempted to physically interfere with Officer Jones' investigation of the assault by hitting and kicking Officer Jones. In arresting Ms. Sharp at the scene, Officer Jones, who was not made aware that Miss Sharp may have been pregnant, did not use any inappropriate force."

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