Danville City Jail and Sheriff Deputies Face Disturbing Abuse Allegations in Recent Lawsuit
Written by: Sam Orlando
DANVILLE, VA - A lawsuit filed earlier this month in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia, reveals alarming allegations of abuse by staff at the Danville City Jail against inmate Brittany Alexander Smith.
According to the official court documents, Ms. Smith's ordeal began on the night of April 27, 2023, when she was taken to the Danville City Jail on a petty larceny charge. During her processing, due to her PTSD from previous traumatic incidents of being attacked from behind, she expressed discomfort with her seating position. Her refusal to move as directed by officers allegedly led to a violent response. She claims that four to six officers "grabbed me and slammed me into the wall causing my tooth to break and my eyebrow to split." The severity of the injury was such that she had to be immediately transported to Sovah Health to receive stitches for her eyebrow.
But that wasn't the end of her alleged encounters with excessive force at the hands of jail staff. On May 18, 2023, after returning from overnight court, she inquired about missing medication during the evening pill pass. Her query was reportedly met with aggression. Ms. Smith states that Deputy Officer Williams and his sergeant, responding to her non-aggressive gesture, used excessive force, resulting in injury to her right shoulder – an area she had previous chronic issues with. This incident was significant enough that she had to be sent to Sovah Health once more and referred to orthopedics due to the complexity of the injury.
In her own words, Ms. Smith emphasizes that she was "in neither of these cases... violent," and was not under the influence of any unauthorized substances. She believes that the use of force in both situations was completely unwarranted. "The end did not justify the means, force was not needed, nobody was in danger and there was nothing done or any other action taken before using force," she stated.
Ms. Smith has taken the necessary procedural steps to voice her grievances. Following the incidents, she wrote to Captain Petty, seeking a review of the camera footage from the mentioned dates and requesting dental attention for her injuries. However, she claims she received no response.
While the specifics of the relief Ms. Smith is seeking remain unspecified in the available documents, it is clear that she is pursuing the case on grounds of excessive force and negligence on part of the jail staff.
Danville City Jail and the implicated Sheriff Deputies will likely face serious scrutiny as this case proceeds, especially given the detailed nature of the allegations and the potential availability of camera footage as evidence. Efforts to reach representatives of the Danville City Jail for comments have so far been unsuccessful.