The woman claiming a police officer illegally barged into her home and gave her an eye-shattering punch May 18 came to Phenix City Council seeking answers Monday.
The answer she got was city leaders can’t answer her questions because her attorney’s threatening to sue.
Mayor Eddie Lowe told Elizabeth Coty-Green no one with the city publicly may address her allegations regarding Officer Mark Cameron because any information divulged could weaken the city’s defense against a suit.
Until the issue reaches some resolution, Coty-Green’s attorney Kenneth Funderburk should communicate with city attorney Jimmie Graham as the legal process proceeds, she was advised.
She did not welcome such advice. When she told the council she was going to file a complaint with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Graham suggested she first talk to Funderburk. “You’re not my attorney,” she snapped back. “Don’t advise me.”
Coty-Green, 53, who had surgery Friday for two fractures in her left eye socket complained a police report on the struggle at her Willow Trace Drive home said she was arrested without incident or injury.
“What is this?” she asked, pointing at her left eye.
She also complained that Cameron continues to patrol as his actions are investigated: “Why is he still on duty?”
Again Lowe told her city leaders could not comment on the situation.
Having made a request to address the city council during its Monday work session, Coty-Green first retold her account of the incident:
She said Cameron came to her home about 10:15 p.m. May 18 with her daughter-in-law Shameka Shifflett, who wanted to collect some belongings she’d left there after a fight with her husband, Demetrius Shifflett.
Coty-Green let her get one bag before suggesting she return when Demetrius Shifflett was there, to make sure they accurately exchanged property. Demetrius Shifflett, who with his wife had been living with Coty-Green for about three weeks, was not home at the time.
Coty-Green said Cameron interjected that the daughter-in-law would get her things that night or he would arrest Coty-Green, who replied, “Arrest me then.”
Her husband, Spivey Green, stepped outside with Cameron to ease the tension, but when he came back in, the officer forced his way in behind him, Coty-Green said.
Cameron tried to drag her outside, and when her husband tried to stop him, the officer arrested and handcuffed Spivey Green, she said.
Cameron had her on the floor on her back, with one handcuff on her right wrist as he tried to put the other cuff on her left arm, which she kept pulling away, she said. That’s when he reared back and punched her unconscious, she said.
When she came to, a police lieutenant was standing over her. “You’re under arrest,” he told her, she said.
She was charged with felony assault and with misdemeanor resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Her husband was charged with resisting arrest.
Police later arrested the daughter-in-law on allegations she smacked her husband in the mouth with a broom handle earlier that day, an altercation that led to the confrontation that night.
Shameka Shifflett was charged with felony assault involving domestic violence.
A $1 million claim Funderburk filed May 23 on Coty-Green’s behalf accuses the city and its agents of trespassing, assault and battery, false arrest, excessive force and breaking and entering.
Police violated her right to defend her home, and to “defend herself against an unlawful intrusion and against a false and unwarranted arrest,” Funderburk wrote.
He makes the same claims on behalf of her spouse Spivey Lorenzo Green.