Monique Tillman says she was 15-years-old when she encountered an off-duty Tacoma police officer in the parking lot of the Tacoma Mall. The off-duty officer was in uniform and working mall security on May 24, 2014. Monique and her brother, Eric Branch, were riding their bikes through parking lot as they headed home.
“The whole time, there’s no crime. We are not doing anything. We are just riding our bikes,” said Branch.
“Basically, the security guard just starts harassing us,” said Tillman.
According to a complaint filed by Tillman’s attorney, security said the teens were stopped because they were causing a disturbance. But Tillman maintained that they did nothing wrong.“I tried to ride away, he grabbed me, threw me against someone’s car, started choking me, grabbed me by my hair, and tried to slam my face into the concrete,” said Tillman.
She was then tased and arrested.
“I think it was more racially motivated because I feel like if we were two white kids, they wouldn’t have stopped us. They wouldn’t have said anything to us. They definitely wouldn’t have tased me,” said Tillman.
Due to pending litigation, the off-duty officer’s employer, the Tacoma Police Department, is not commenting. Tacoma Mall is not commenting either.
The complaint for damages list Monique Tillman as the Plaintiff, and the Off-Duty Officer, the Simon Property Group, and Universal Protection Services as Defendants. It was filed late last week.