Held down, kicking and screaming, Charda Gregory had her hair cut forcibly cut off by police officers in Warren, Michigan while she was in their custody.
Gregory was tied to a chair at the time her hair was removed:
[Gregory], 22, had allegedly trashed a hotel room. She was taken into custody by Michigan police, then pepper sprayed in jail, slammed against a wall and strapped down to a chair.
While there is video of the incident, the police monitoring system does not have audio.
Video of the detention area but outside the holding cells shows Najor pushing Gregory against a wall. Officers then strapped her into a chair. Najor yanked Gregory's head back and spent 3 minutes cutting off the Gregory's hair and hair weaves as she writhed in the chair.
The officer who cut Gregory's hair, Bernadette Najor—a 10-year police veteran—tried to justify her actions, by calling Gregory's hair a suicide risk.
At many jails, prisoners are required to remove hair extensions that clip in because they could be used as a weapon or to commit suicide. But [Gregory] didn't have clip in extensions. She had a weave that was sewn right into her real hair.
Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green said there was no need for Gregory's hair to be cut, especially once she had been restrained in the chair. "The video clearly shows she's intoxicated. Unless I'm blind, I don't see where she's offering any resistance whatsoever," said Green.
"I concluded that this was an unnecessary or unreasonable use of force. She doesn't think she did anything wrong," the commissioner said. "We can talk about policies and procedures, and that'll be argued at some point in arbitration. I've been here long enough to know this is (the difference) between right and wrong – and that was wrong."
The actions of three of the four other officers remain under investigation to determine whether they violated department policies. None of them were suspended and they remain on active duty, Green said.
Najor was subsequently fired; however, a Warren's police offcers' union is challenging that decision. They have filed an arbitration to contest her termination.
At this time, the original charges Gregory was arrested for been dropped.
Gregory's lawyer, Paul Misukewicz, said his client suffered permanent damage from having her hair ripped out forcibly. "I guess the best way to describe it would be sadistic. There's absolutely no reason for it. And it's demeaning," Misukewicz told WXYZ-TV.
For her part, Gregory said she went to a party in Detroit and woke up in the hotel room, believing she had been drugged. "She had a couple of drinks, then woke up in a strange place. Didn't know how she got there, completely disoriented, said Misukewicz.
Gregory summed up the encounter with Officer Najor simply: "She's a very horrible person,"she said.