SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — In the early morning hours of January 28, 2023, Uniyah Chatman, 25, was accused of stealing a tip container from Nick’s Tomato Pie, in Armory Square.
Officers responded, Chatman denied the theft and police don’t let her leave the area.
Portions of body camera footage police released during a news conference last month show there is some back and forth between her and the officer, Leonard Brown.
Chatman is accused of spitting in his face.
Officer Brown is then seen grabbing Chatman by the neck in an attempt to arrest her and during that time her head is banged into a window.
The notice of claim filed by her attorneys at Syracuse City Hall does not mention Chatman spitting at the officer. It also said Officer Brown arrived at the scene without wearing his required body camera. It also said “Immediately, SPD Brown berated Ms. Chatman with a hostile and violent diatribe directed at her sexuality.”
Chatman’s attorneys said she received a tranquilizer from AMR staff, that her body negatively and violently reacted to. She was brought to the hospital and was placed on life support.
“We’ll be suing for the violation of the 14th amendment,” said Chatman’s attorney Charles Bonner. “They took away her liberty, they took it away with due process both of which are protected by the 14th amendment in the United states constitution.”
She and her family say her injuries are physical and emotional.
“Thankful to be alive, and able to still talk and eat and use the bathroom on my own and things like cause I couldn’t do that for a while,” said Chatman.
The claim is for $21 million, plus punitive damages.
Her attorney said it’s not enough to bring back her peace and tranquility.
We’re still waiting on Syracuse Police to release the findings of its internal investigation into the arrest and use of force. Her attorneys are calling for Brown to be terminated
NewsChannel 9 did reach out to the Syracuse Police Department for comment on the notice of claim and we are still waiting on a statement.