In recent weeks, the media interest in The Law Office of Michael S. Lamonsoff’s client, Kamilah Brock, has been exploding. Ms. Brock, a Long Island woman of Jamaican descent, was wrongfully committed to a mental ward for 8 days last year after a routine traffic stop in Harlem. Now that Ms. Brock has spoken out in her first televised interview about her ordeal, the nation has taken notice, and a conversation has been sparked that raises the specter that some police engage in racial profiling.
From international news outlets like The Huffington Post to user-run social media hubs like Reddit, the story of Kamilah Brock has been front-page news over the last several days. With media appearances by Ms. Brock and her attorney, Michael Lamonsoff, slated over coming weeks to include local, national, and international press, radio, and print press, the conversation is only expected to grow and develop, hopefully bringing attention to this very real and disturbing trend in our cultural infrastructure.
Last September, Ms. Brock was stopped by the police in Harlem in her BMW. The officer cited her for having her hands off the wheel of her vehicle while she danced behind the wheel at a red light stop. The vehicle was then searched and impounded, though Ms. Brock was not charged with any crime and was free to go.
When she returned to Harlem the following day to get her car back she got lost and went to the first precinct she found and asked for help in finding her car. At the police station, the police began to make cynical and sarcastic comments to Ms. Brock, doubting her ownership of a BMW and forcing her to wait for over an hour while they presumably searched their database for the location of her car.
The police informed Ms. Brock that they were going to take her to her car, but instead she was restrained and led to an ambulance, which the police insisted was going to take her to her vehicle nearby. This was a lie. The ambulance took her to Harlem Hospital, where she was strapped to a gurney and injected with sedatives. She described to PIX11 slipping in and out of consciousness while her clothing was cut off of her as she was wheeled into the ward.
When she regained consciousness, Ms. Brock discovered that she was being detained in a psychiatric ward. In the ward, she was forced to take sedatives and lithium and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. As part of her treatment plan, Ms. Brock, who is a banker and is followed by President Obama on Twitter was instructed to recant these true facts because she was acting “grandiose”. A quick review of her Twitter account, a call to her employer, and a check-in with the DMV by the psychiatric staff would have either substantiated or disproven all of her claims, but no such steps were taken.
While the lasting effects of such a trauma will follow Ms. Brock for the rest of her life, she is now taking steps to demand answers and justice for what was done to her.
Michael Lamonsoff and his client will be making more press appearances in the coming weeks and engaging in conversations about racial profiling by police and abuse of police power. As Mr. Lamonsoff told the Huffington Post, “I do think race played a part in this.”