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Monday, May 18, 2020

Pregnant Mom Arrested For Traffic Violations Says She Was Put At Risk For COVID-19

Diamond Davis, pregnant Black woman arrested from Montgomery

Montgomery, AL — Diamond Davis, a 27-year old pregnant mother from Alabama, was arrested for allegedly driving with improper license plates and other non-violent offense. She was detained overnight at the Montgomery City Jail, where several employees and inmates had already tested positive for the virus. She is now saying that local police endangered her and her baby’s health.

On April 19, Davis was driving home when she was stopped by police because she was using expired temporary license plates. She was arrested when officers found out that she was also driving without a license or car insurance, failed to pay fines, and missed some court hearings on traffic-related violations.

When she was taken to jail, Davis requested a face mask and gloves but was turned down. More than that, she says that she was placed in a cell with two other women, one of whom was coughing.

“I was crying so much. I was very scared for me and my baby,” Davis told The New York Times.

Davis, who is in her first trimester, was released the next day. Since then, there have been a total of 21 reported COVID-19 cases of jail inmates and staff.

Michael Briddell, the Director of Public Information for Montgomery, claimed that the city jail had preventive measures in place, including releasing nonviolent offenders, having temperature checks, and sanitizing common areas.

Briddell also implied that Davis’ “extreme nonviolent cases” and 16 outstanding warrants justified her arrest and detention.

However, women’s rights advocates believe that Davis was a victim of a vicious cycle of arrests that mainly target Black people, wherein they are given tickets that they can’t afford so they miss court hearings and then get detained when pulled over. That situation has worsened with the coronavirus pandemic as detainees can possible be infected with the virus when placed in cells.

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