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Published On: Sun, Jun 8th, 2014

Indiana woman stripped by jailers and left naked for 7 hours

TND Guest Contributor:

Tabitha Gentry was stripped and left naked for nearly 7 hours.

Tabitha Gentry was stripped and left naked for nearly 7 hours.

NEW ALBANY, IN — A mother of 4 says that while she was in police custody for a misdemeanor, she was stripped naked by deputies, pepper sprayed,  and left naked in a cell for nearly seven hours.

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The incident took place on March 30th, when 31-year-old Tabitha Gentry, of New Albany, was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, after an emotional fight with her estranged husband.   She was taken to the Floyd County Jail and held on 2 misdemeanor charges.

Gentry appeared to be intoxicated and did not answer questions to the satisfaction of the deputies.  In an effort to produce “submission through humiliation” — as attorney Laura Landenwich described — the jailers then strip-searched her, and paraded her around in front of other deputies, and left her nude in a room with no covering for the rest of the night.

Surveillance video shows much of the ordeal.

“Almost immediately upon entering the jail, she’s assaulted by four officers. They grab her around the neck, they grab her body,” Landenwich said to WDRB.

“They hold her down,” Landenwich continued. “There are two male officers and two female officers and they forceably remove her pants, her shoes, her underwear and her shirt and bra.”

Ms. Gentry was then hauled off to “the padded room.”  Video shows she was pulled through a large open area in front of other officers, and then locked in solitary confinement.

The lawyer explained:  “Terrified and humiliated, she’s banging on the door asking someone to give her her clothing and someone comes to the door and says, ‘If you don’t shut up, I’m going to pepper spray you,’ and sure enough, they open the door, spray pepper spray into the room and they leave — and they leave her in there for 40 minutes, naked, in a cell filled with pepper spray.”

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Reprinted with permission.

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