Disabled woman's lawsuit alleges excessive force

Henry K. Lee, San Francisco Chronicle, September 17, 2011
An 18-year-old developmentally disabled woman filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Friday against the Alameda County sheriff's office, saying deputies used excessive force when they tackled her and shocked her with a stun gun at aCastro Valley mental health center. Sapreena Fowler, who has the mental capacity of a 4-year-old, was forcibly restrained during a confrontation Feb. 8 at Redwood Place, an inpatient mental health rehabilitation center at 18949Redwood Road, said the suit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.Fowler, an Oakland resident, spent two nights at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin and was charged with resisting an officer and battery against a law-enforcement officer. The charges were eventually dropped. "In over 20 years of prosecuting civil rights cases against police, this is one of the most shocking abuses of a vulnerable person I have seen," said Fowler's attorney, Michael Haddad.

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