An Alabama mother is suing state and local agencies in Williamson County, Tennessee for $2.5 million after she was arrested and allegedly had her constitutional rights violated, resulting in the loss of her job and her children.
According to the lawsuit, Tracy Garth was driving through Franklin when she stopped at a gas station. At that gas station, she was confronted by Franklin Police officers who arrested her for three counts of reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, two counts of violating the child restraint law, two counts of felony evading, and multiple other moving violations after she allegedly passed a dump truck, struck a traffic cone, and failed to stop for law enforcement.
The lawsuit says she was taken into custody without issue, according to police reports, but upon arriving at the jail, she was never given a phone call, which is required by law within the first hour.
It took 14 days for Garth to be able to make a phone call, according to the lawsuit, and during her jail time, she was allegedly harassed and recorded by guards while he clothes were cut off and she was left naked.
While much of the lawsuit targets the Williamson County Sheriff's Office for how she was treated in jail, much of the lawsuit is focused on her children.
Following her arrest, Garth's two kids were taken by Franklin Police, and according to the lawsuit, one of the kids experienced severe burns while in their care, and in a statement received by Franklin Police, the department confirmed that the child was burned when he pushed a button on a hot water dispenser in the break room.
That child was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center before being released to the Department of Children's Services (DCS) along with the other child.
Along with their explanation of the child's burns, the statement from Franklin Police said: "We hope that hte public recognizes that there are two sides to every story (and) we hope that the people whom we serve know how earnestly we care for their rights, their safety, and especially their children."
The lawsuit continues to say a DCS investigator met with Garth at the jail and said she would be able to pick up her children when she was released, but that same day, the lawsuit alleges the same investigator filed a petition to have the children put into foster care using incorrect information.
The petition stated that Garth ran numerous times from police and was uncooperative, which according to the lawsuit, is contrary to the police report.
The lawsuit also claims Garth's speed was exaggerated from 70 miles per hour to 100 miles per hour in the petition.
Now more than a year later, out of jail, Garth is left fighting for her children while the lawsuit continues.
Prior to her arrest last April, Garth had no criminal history, and in all drug tests administered, the results showed no drugs in her system.