Sparta, GA – The GBI is investigating the death of a woman who died after a July 15 in-custody incident with Hancock County Sheriff’s Office deputies. On Thursday, July 21, 2022, at around 1:00 p.m., Brianna Marie Grier, age 28, of Sparta, was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Hancock County Sheriff Terrell Primus asked the GBI’s regional investigate office in Milledgeville to investigate on July 15 following the initial incident.
The early investigation indicates Hancock County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to a home on Hickory Grove Church Road in Sparta. Grier was arrested at the home. While deputies were taking Grier to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, Grier fell out of a patrol car and sustained significant injuries. She later died because of those injuries.
Agents have concluded that the rear passenger side door of the patrol car, near where Grier was sitting, was never closed. Agents conducted numerous interviews, reviewed multiple body camera videos, and conducted exhaustive mechanical tests on the patrol car. Automotive experts and the Georgia State Patrol also assisted with tests to determine if there were possible mechanical malfunctions. In conjunction with these investigative acts, GBI agents concluded that Grier was placed in the backseat of the patrol car, handcuffed in the front of her body with no seatbelt.
The investigation also reveals that after Grier was arrested, two Hancock County deputies were attempting to put Grier in the patrol car. Both deputies and Grier were at the rear driver’s side door of the patrol car. Grier was on the ground refusing to get in the patrol car. Grier made a statement that she was going to harm herself. To put Grier in the patrol car, one of the deputies walked around and opened the rear passenger side door.
The deputy quickly returned to the rear driver’s side door. Both deputies put Grier in the backseat of the patrol car. The deputies closed the rear driver’s side door. The investigation shows that the deputy thought he closed the rear passenger side door.
The deputies left the scene and drove a short distance. Body camera footage reveals the deputies had no other contact with Grier from the time she was placed in the car until she fell out of the moving car.
Grier’s body will be taken to the GBI Crime Lab for an autopsy.
The GBI investigation remains active and ongoing.