84-year-old woman sues Arizona police for excessive force

PHOENIX (AP/KSAZ) -- An 84-year-old grandmother who alleges she was seriously injured by officers of an Arizona police department already under fire for numerous complaints of excessive force has filed a federal civil lawsuit against two policemen and their department.

"84 years, I've never been treated so bad," said Virginia Archer, who filed the suit Thursday morning at the U.S. District Court in Phoenix.

Archer alleges that she was unlawfully arrested on February 14, and subjected to "excessive, brutal and completely unnecessary force" by Mesa Police officers who went to her home checking on the safety of her grandson. Her grandson was reportedly suicidal, and had a gun. Eventually, however, it was Archer who was thrown to the ground by officers.

"Then they were putting handcuffs behind my back, and I asked him 'don't do this, don't do this'. I had a stroke and a heart attack, and I didn't want them to do that," Archer recounted. "I asked him not to do that, and they went ahead.

The complaint names officers C. Orr and D. Grimm, as well as the department. Officers say they were trying to get the great-grandmother out of harm's way.

"I hadn't committed any crime," said Archer. "I did everything they asked me to do. I walked out in the rain."

Mesa Police charged Archer for obstruction, which was dismissed by prosecutors. Archer's attorneys want the case to go to a jury trial, and they are not willing to accept a settlement. They would also like to see the two officers face criminal charges and/or disciplinary action by Mesa Police.

Meanwhile, Mesa Police Media Relations Officer Steve Berry said the department could not comment because the case involved pending litigation. The individual officers could not be immediately located to request their reactions.

The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.

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