Honor Student Inexplicably Beaten by Police “I Awoke Spitting My Teeth Out On the Ground”
By Yolanda Spivey
BLOOMINGTON IL- On June 29th 2013, Gabriella Calhoun’s
life changed forever. The night was warm and clear, and after partying
with friends, Gabriella and her friends decided to go to their local
neighborhood Denny’s to get a late night meal. Gabby is an honor
student at Wiley College. She finished high school a year early and
went to college a year before the rest of her cohort.
Sitting on the left side of Denny’s so they can have a view of the
parking lot, her crew of 17, all high school graduates, witnessed a
fight between two girls. As the group of college bound students were
ordering their drinks, the cops were called.
When officers arrived on the scene, they entered the Denny’s and
approached Gabriella’s table and asked if they had anything to do with
the fight. A friend, who shall remain nameless, told the officers that
they were not involved with the fight at all at which the cops left and
went back outside.
The two girls who were fighting outside were allowed to go into the
Denny’s to “clean themselves up.” One girl was previously maced by a
police officer in the parking lot for acting unruly. When the two girls
saw each other inside of Denny’s, they started to fight again. The
cops rushed into the restaurant to break the fight up.
As the cops tried to clear Denny’s, they again approached Gabriella’s
table, at which a close friend of hers told the cops they were not
involved with the party that was fighting. The cops grabbed the
nameless young man, (he wants his name protected out of fear of
retaliation), and escorted him out of Denny’s. Gabriella followed them
and grabbed his side. As she exited the Denny’s she felt a grip on her
neck and arm and says that out of reaction, she tried to pull away.
What happened next was unimaginable. According to her friends,
Gabriella was hit in the face with a night stick by a female officer and
was knocked unconscious. When Gabriella finally gained consciousness,
the Wiley College Student said, “I awoke spitting my teeth out on the
Gabriella then stated, “When I came to, the officer begin to choke me
again. When I was finally able to talk, I asked the officer to please
let me go because I have asthma, but she [the officer], said, ‘I don’t
care if you have asthma. You were hitting my officer.’”
“Afterward, the officer kept saying over and over again, ‘how was your party’ as she held my face to the ground.”
The female cop then lifted the petite honor student off of the
ground, at which her b*****s were exposed because the tube top shirt she
was wearing had rolled down. She asked the officer if she could please
pull up her shirt, but the officer told her to do it herself. She then
walked Gabriella all the way from the front of the Denny’s to the back
where the cop cars were.
Gabriella was then sent to the precinct where she was booked on one
charge of felony aggravated battery and two misdemeanors for resisting
“While at the jail, I received limited medical attention,” said
Gabriella. “The doctors only gave me ointment and an icepack which I
had to ask for.”
“I think this is racial profiling not only by the Bloomington police
department but also by Denny’s,” stated Lynia Cooper, friend of the
victim. “Nobody else in Denny’s had to leave except the African
Americans in that area. The police didn’t hear us out and ultimately
used cruel and unusual force on Gabby.”
Cooper added, “Might I add the police didn’t even arrest the females that were involved in the altercations.”
Your Black World tried to reach out to the Bloomington, IL police
department, but they said they were unable to make an official statement
because the case hasn’t gone to trial yet.
The entire incident left Gabriella terrified. “The whole situation is
out of hand,” stated the frightened teen. “I don’t deserve this and
now I hate to look in the mirror. When I look at what I use to look
like to what I look like now, it hurts. I had the prettiest smile but
now I have 3 fake teeth in my mouth. Nothing is the same. I have to
train myself to talk with my new teeth.”
Civil rights activists are already trying to find out what happened
to the student, but are seeking to hear the police department’s side of
“I want to hear what the police have to say, since the burden of
proof is on them,” said Dr. Boyce Watkins, who revealed the case of
Kelly Williams-Bolar, the mother sent to jail for sending her kids to a
school outside her district. ”But my father is a cop, so I know that
her story is not inconceivable. Police beat law-abiding citizens for
little things all the time, and regularly go outside the bounds of
decency when exerting their authority.”
Dr. Watkins is meeting this week with the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al
Sharpton in Chicago, and says that he will get their inputs on the
matter. Until then, the family is seeking answers and support from
anyone willing to provide it.
The victim’s mother, Montana Amy Calhoun, wants justice for her
daughter. She is asking that anyone who can give information on
resources for the family in the Illinois area, please reach out to them.
If you know of resources in Illinois that can help the family, please
leave the information in the comments section of this article.