Mother sues city after she’s Tasered, loses pregnancy

Posted: September 28, 2012

A pregnant woman who says she lost her baby after police zapped her with a stun gun seven times outside her North Philadelphia home in 2010 filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit this week against the city and three police officers involved in the incident.

Naimah Jones, 35, is suing for assault and battery, false arrest, malicious prosecution and emotional distress.

The incident occurred Nov. 27, 2010, when Jones, en route to her parents' house to celebrate Thanksgiving, stopped home to grab some luggage. With four of her five children asleep in the car, she told her 14-year-old daughter that she'd be back after getting their things. She then locked the car door and went in the house.

Within minutes, she heard someone knocking on the car door outside and spied two men trying to get into the car. From her second-floor window, she yelled at them to get away from her car and then ran outside when they didn't.

"Do you know who the f--- I am?" one man shouted before pushing Jones against a fence and choking her, according to the lawsuit. He then identified himself as a police officer, according to the lawsuit.

As Jones repeated "I didn't know you were a police officer," Officer Philip Sprague and his partner Officer Russell Seiberlich threw her to the ground and handcuffed her, according to the lawsuit. Another cop who came as backup, Officer Chris Manigault, then tasered Jones each time she screamed for help - more than seven times - upon Sprague's order, according to the lawsuit.

She miscarried a few weeks later, her attorney James E. Lee said.

Jones, who had no criminal record, was arrested and found guilty of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct in a February 2011 nonjury trial. She appealed and a jury cleared her in December 2011, apparently heeding her attorney's argument that she didn't know the men were cops and acted as any protective mother would.

"There really is no excuse," Lee said. "The city needs to crack down on excessive force by police officers. This case should have never gone to trial."

Lt. Ray Evers, a police spokesman, declined to comment on pending litigation.

Contact Dana DiFilippo at or 215-854-5934. Follow her on Twitter @DanaDiFilippo. Read her blog at

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