Woman, 19, accuses Warren police of brutality
Warren — Holding back tears, hands shaking, 19-year-old Gabrielle Stokes recalled a recent night when she allegedly suffered arm and wrist injuries in a brutal police arrest at her apartment.
Stokes, the daughter of R&B singer Sara Stokes, said she was hosting a small party for a friend moving to Texas when Warren officers showed up following a report of an incident outside.
The Macomb Community College basketball captain said they dragged her out of the unit screaming, through an alley, at one point slamming her head against a wall.
“This whole situation is just a nightmare,” Stokes said at a news conference Tuesday, where she wore an arm sling on one arm and casts of both wrists and forearms. “I never thought that I would even go through something like this.”
The Rev. W.J. Rideout of Detroit, joined by the Stokes family, called for a federal investigation of the Warren Police Department and for the officers involved to be fired.
“They have damaged this young lady,” Rideout said. “We’re not going to stand for the abuse, the racism, the discrimination that the Warren Police Department, these police officers, have placed upon this dear precious child.”
Warren police declined to comment on Stokes’ allegations, citing an open investigation.
Sgt. Stephen Mills said Tuesday that Stokes was charged with minor in possession and disturbing the peace during the Jan. 3 incident that happened just before 3 a.m.
Mills said the department has not received a formal written complaint from Stokes.
The Detroit News filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the police report.
Calls to Mayor Jim Fouts’ office and cellphone were not returned. Fouts routinely handles media inquires for the Police Department.
Fouts is wrapped in controversy over new recordings that surfaced Monday with a voice that sounds like him disparaging African-Americans and older women. Several county and local leaders have called for him to resign.
Rideout again called for Fouts to step down during the news conference for Stokes, which was held at Warren City Hall.
Gabrielle Stokes’ father, Emanuiel “Tony” Stokes, said the Police Department was a reflection of its leadership.
“We never knew the story about the mayor,” Emanuiel Stokes said. “But now that we do, we understand where the leadership comes from and why the cops out here are the way that they are about racism.”
Emanuiel Stokes and Sara Stokes are featured in the BET Centric reality show “From the Bottom Up.”
Gabrielle Stokes said she has a shoulder injury and sprained wrists from the arrest.
Sara Stokes described her daughter as a 4.0 sophomore at MCC who has won accolades for her community service and academics. Because of the injuries, the fate of her basketball career is unknown, Sara Stokes said.
“I am so angry that they would do this to this 19-year old girl,” Sara Stokes said. “There was no reason for that type of abuse.”