Logan woman accuses state police of civil rights violations

By Lawrence Smith | Apr 27, 2010

Bullock CHARLESTON - A Logan County woman is suing the West Virginia State Police, and one of its troopers over alleged civil rights violations.


CHARLESTON - A Logan County woman is suing the West Virginia State Police, and one of its troopers over alleged civil rights violations.

Jeanetta Bullock filed suit in Kanawha Circuit Court against Trooper Charles W. Seacrist, the West Virginia State Police and Col. Timothy Pack, the State Police superintendent. In her complaint filed April 15, Bullock, 37, alleges Seacrist physically and verbally abused her following a visit to her home in 2008.

According to the suit, Seacrist "responded to Ms. Bullock's home on a routine call." The date, and nature of the call are not specified in the suit.

Sometime after arriving at her home in Cora, Bullock alleges Seacrist handcuffed her hands behind her back. While handcuffed, Bullock says that Seacrist "systematically began to beat [her]."

The beating, Bullock alleges, included Seacrist smashing her head onto a hard surface, and kicking her in the ribs while she was in a prone position on the floor. The blows she allegedly suffered resulted in not only several fractured ribs, but also a fractured orbital socket and broken nose.

In the course of the beating, Bullock alleges Seacrist made racial comments about her, and her husband, who are both black. What Seacrist allegedly said to Bullock and her husband, who is not named in court records, is not stated in the complaint.

Though her suit does not say if she was charged with a crime and incarcerated, Bullock claims she was "detained and denied medical treatment until ...released from custody." When she was able to receive medical attention, Bullock says she was treated for "injuries to her orbital socket, nose, face, ribs and torso."

According to a criminal complaint filed against her in Logan Magistrate Court, Bullock was charged on April 18, 2008, on one count each of domestic battery, assault on an officer, battery on an officer and obstructing. She was released three days later on $5,000 bond.

In the complaint, Seacrist says after arriving at their home and speaking with the Bullocks, Mr. Bullock said Jeanetta "did strike him several times." When he attempted to place her into custody, Seacrist says she "resisted arrest and fled back into the residence."

Upon entering the home, Seacrist states that not only did Bullock strike him with her hands when he attempted handcuff her, but also attempted to strike him "with objects in the residence." He says he "then used pressure point techniques to subdue, handcuff and place the accused into custody."

Records show Magistrate Dwight Williamson dismissed all the charges on Aug. 12, 2008, when Mr. Bullock decided against pursuing the domestic battery complaint.

In her suit, Bullock alleges Seacrist's actions violated her constitutional rights as his attack was "unprovoked." As a result, Bullock alleges she's sustained past and future "pain and suffering, emotional and mental anguish and humiliation and embarrassment."

In addition to allegations of civil rights violations, Bullock makes claims against Seacrist, Pack and the state police for abuse of process and negligence.

Bullock seeks unspecified damages, court costs and attorney fees.

She is represented by Mark L. French with the Charleston law firm of Criswell & French.

The case is assigned to Judge Louis H. "Duke" Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court, case number 10-C-713 (Bullock civil)
Logan Magistrate Court, case number 08-C-1511-1514 (Bullock criminal)

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