Amanda Booker is suing the pants off of Bartow County Georgia’s police force after her arrest led to a nightmarish kidnapping and imprisonment at an evangelical Ex-Gay center instead of the court-ordered drug rehabilitation facility she was meant to attend.
Booker alleges in the suit that after her family called the Bartow County Sheriff’s Department in April 2010 to have her committed to a psychiatric hospital due to her drug addiction, the deputies ignored a judge’s order to take her to Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital in Rome, Ga.
According to the lawsuit, Deputy Pam Ploof picked up Booker on April 22 to transport her to the hospital. However, en route to the hospital Booker began having seizures. According to the suit, an ambulance was dispatched and Booker was taken to Cartersville Medical Center.
While in the Cartersville hospital, Lt. Mayton “began harassing Ms. Booker, making numerous threats concerning her lesbian relationship with her partner,” according to the suit.
“Lt. Mayton then forbade Ms. Booker from having a lesbian relationship and ordered Ms. Booker not to contact her partner,” the suit alleges.
Cartersville Medical Center released Booker the evening of April 22, 2010, and, according to the lawsuit, Lt. Mayton put Booker into Ploof’s squad car and Ploof drove her to a nearby shopping center.
Lt. Mayton followed Ploof to the shopping center, transferred Booker into his personal vehicle and then drove Booker to the home of his friend, Gary Allen Covington, and asked Covington to watch Booker. According to the lawsuit, Covington was paid $200 in county funds to do so. And, according to the lawsuit, Booker remained at Covington’s home up to a week.
Lt. Mayton then returned and, according to the lawsuit, transported Booker to the private residence of Chris and Donna McDowell, two self-described “evangelists.” The couple was paid $600 of county funds “to attempt to convert Ms. Booker from being a lesbian,” the suit alleges.
After several days, Booker attempted to escape from the McDowell’s home and then went to her mother’s home, where she had been staying, to get some personal items. Lt. Mayton went to the home on May 18, 2010, and attempted to arrest her without a warrant, according to the suit. Booker resisted and Lt. Mayton slammed her against a patrol car and “lifted up Ms. Booker’s shirt to expose her bare breasts.”
Paging Officer Homophobe! This story sounds INSANE.
Booker names 11 defendants in her lawsuits, and if her story is true (It sounds too crazy to have been made up), we hope a jury serves up a hot plate of justice. Preventing Booker from attaining the drug rehabilitation treatment she medically needed is bad enough, but forcing her to endure a week of religious fanaticism is just unbelievable.
If the homophobic culture of the Bartow County Police Force allowed this incident to manifest, we can only imagine other illegal and discriminatory conduct is going on as well. For the sake of all the LGBT residents of Bartow County, we hope some serious changes are made, and that those responsible for this horrific conduct lose their badges.
What the heck is going on in the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office?