25-year-old Alexia Christian was killed in a shootout on May 1 with police officers in downtown Atlanta after she reportedly opened fire on them after she had been arrested, handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car:
From the AP (emphasis ours):
A woman in police custody who was killed by officers in downtown Atlanta had escaped from her handcuffs and fired gunshots at the officers from a patrol car’s backseat, police said Friday.
Police Chief George Turner said 26-year-old Alexia Christian had apparently found the .380-caliber Taurus handgun inside a stolen truck, and it wasn’t immediately clear why the officers didn’t discover the gun when they took her into custody.
Christian had been arrested seven times by the Atlanta Police Department and had escaped from handcuffs once before, Turner said during a news conference. Fulton County Jail records show Christian has also been arrested by the county sheriff’s office and police in East Point, an Atlanta suburb.
Even with 7 prior arrests and a reported previous escape from handcuffs, some on Twitter aren’t buying the official story:
Early reports seem to suggest that Christian wasn’t properly searched because the officers did not have time to call a female officer to the scene. From WBRC TV:
Police said the incident happened quickly and the officers simply didn’t have enough time to call in a female officer, adding that the male officers can pat down a female with the back of their hand with witnesses present.
“It was clear to us the officers did not search her prior to putting her into the back of the car,” said Atlanta Police Chief George Turner.
Authorities are investigating whether Christian had been patted down before being put in the car, Department spokesman Greg Lyon said. Department policy allows male officers to pat female suspects down by using the backs of their hands in the presence of witnesses.
So now police officers are putting themselves at risk to avoid sexual harassment/assault claims?