Nurse Assaulted By Police For Abiding By Protocol Files Federal Lawsuit For Use Of Excessive Force


Exactly two years ago, Lawrenceville, Ga., police shocked a registered nurse with a Taser and arrested her after she refused to grant the cops access to a patient suspected of sexual assault at the psychiatric unit where she worked. Now, the woman has filed a Federal lawsuit against them.

Marthe Bien-Aime, who is suing officers Christy Vice, Mark Tinkey, C.L. Hyatt and Shawn Humphreys, alleges the police subjected her to excessive force in the Oct. 31, 2011 incident. Bien-Aime greeted the police when they showed up in response to a call alleging the patient had sexually abused another patient, but she would not allow them access to the suspect until she had obtained permission from her unit supervisor.

Bien-Aime, who was working at the Summit Ridge mental health facility in Lawrenceville, told the cops she had sworn an oath to protect her patients and that she simply needed to call her nursing director for permission to let the officers into the unit where the suspect was being treated.

But the officers claimed to have an arrest warrant for the patient and threatened to arrest her for obstruction unless she broke her own code of professional ethics, for which she herself is accountable before the law, by giving them immediate access to the patient.

From the complaint:

21. The Defendant officers had a piece of paper that they said was a warrant, but they did not allow Nurse Bien-Aime to read it, so she was unable to confirm whether it was a warrant or what patient it was for.

22. Nurse Bien-Aime then called the Director of Nursing, Shelley Beaubrun, and told her what was happening with the police officers. Ms. Beaubrun asked to speak with the officers and Nurse Bien-Aime held out the phone so that they could speak to her.

23. The officers refused to speak with Ms. Beaubrun and said they were going to arrest Nurse Bien-Aime for obstructing justice.

24. As Nurse Bien-Aime remained behind the counter in the nurse’s station, waiting for guidance from Ms. Beaubrun on the telephone, Lt. Tinkey burst through the door to the nursing station, followed by Officers Hyatt and Humphreys, and Defendant Vice grabbed the phone and began speaking to Ms. Beaubrun.

25. Lt. Tinkey, Officer Hyatt, and Officer Humphreys grabbed Nurse Bien-Aime’s hands and arms and began twisting her arms backward. Then they threw her to the floor with great force and shackled her wrists with a chain and handcuffs.

26. Nurse Bien-Aime cried out in pain due to the tightness of the handcuffs, as well as from the aggravation of an old left shoulder injury and new injuries to other parts of the body resulting from Defendants’ unreasonable and unjustified use of force against her.

27. She asked the Defendant officer several times to loosen the handcuffs but they would not do it.

28. When they got her off the floor and began escorting her out, Nurse Bien-Aime had difficulty walking and the Defendant officers kept shoving her.

29. After going through a set of double doors in the hallway, Nurse Bien-Aime lost her balance and fell to the floor. The Defendant officers yelled for her to get up but she was not able to, and they told her they would drag her if she didn’t get up.

30. Officer Vice said “let’s tase her” and then they proceeded to do so.

Bien-Aime was taken to the Gwinnett County Detention Center, subjected to a body search, given ice for her bruises and — after waiting for an arrest warrant to be issued — charged with obstruction of justice.

Atlanta’s WSB-TV News recently obtained a video of the incident. Recorded by a surveillance camera inside the mental health facility, the video shows four officers throwing Bien-Aime to the ground and handcuffing her. “Then,” reporter Craig Lucie writes, “two officers dragged her out of the nurse station and one of the officers hit her on the back.”

At the moment the officer struck Bien-Aime, she was already safely in custody with her hands cuffed behind her back. She was walking down the hallway with an officer escorting her at either side.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • angrymike

    The militarization of LEO goes on unabated…….

    • mark

      Especially in the conservative South.

  • pnwdave

    I guess they want to get the message across that when a LEO speaks you better listen. Or risk abuse at their hands.
    How long will Americans put up with this?

    • J. Brown

      Not intended as a rebuttle in the normal sense, but this group needed a “responsible adult” with them. Never in my time as a cop would I have treated a person with such disregard. The “inmates” are truly running the asylum. We can regain control of the country in ’14, but there is a need to have some serious leadership, not celebrities pretending to be………

      • weekends

        J. Brown, we all understand that it isn’t every cop but when the police won’t police the police then you can see how opinions get worse & worse daily. You guys are supposed to be our examples but as it stands now the police scare me more than the criminals because I can SHOOT criminals.

        • J. Brown

          I share your concerns and agree with you. Some departments have a high percentage of former gang members in uniform. If they lacked the proper mind set to “police ” the community before the fact how can we imagine a total turn around in a mere 16 weeks of academy training? Marines who are masters at attitude adjustment take somewhat longer. In the mean time I resent the treatment given to this nurse. Not an adult action in my humble opinion. Perhaps I’ve mellowed with age or gained experience that i imagine is intelligence.

          • BIGRED1

            Sir, please share information regarding departments that have any percentage of former gang members in their ranks. We need to ensure those communities are also aware. Thank you.

          • J. Brown

            Check any major city, they are aware, the public isn’t. Chicago last I heard was about 33%, there is a shortafge of choir boy and boy scouts interested in LEO.

  • feadshipman

    I can’t believe these 4 scum bags were not arrested themselves and are not doing time in the general population at the state penitentiary. Was there a federal investigation of these 4 PIGS for civil rights violations and if not, WHY NOT?

  • Dirty Daug

    I hope the lady collects millions from Lawrenceville, Ga., and the town goes bankrupt. These cops must of had screwed up brains. If something like this happened to me or anyone in my family by cops like this there is no telling of how long they would be allowed to live.

  • mark

    Another example of the crushing of Constitutional rights by police in the Red State South. ” Law and order” always trumps the Constitution in the South that is the reason why so many liberals, progressives, and even moderates refuse to live there despite the lower taxes. Wherever conservatives and Republicans hold political sway, you can kiss your Constitutional liberties goodbye. These incidents have occurred over and over again in Texas, in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Starting to detect a pattern?

    • WTS/JAY

      Still living in your left/right bubble, hey mark? Btw, what makes you think you deserve Constitutional liberties/rights? What’s so special about you, that you feel you should be granted liberties and rights? Why? Give me a good reason…come on, prove to us once again what hypocrites you progressives truly are, when you clamour for your rights and liberties while denying the same rights and liberties to the unborn. You progs make a big whoop-to-do about a few cases of police-over-reach, but care not a whit about the thousands that are slaughtered every day in the slaughter-houses you so cleverly refer to as, abortion-clinics. You know, it seems that wherever progressive-liberals hold political sway, you can kiss your Constitutional liberties and your life goodbye, hey mark?

      • mark

        No the death penalty is much more prevalent in the Red States. In most Blue States, the death penalty is outlawed.

        • Matt Elder

          Which is probably why the blue states tend to have higher violent crime rates.

      • mark

        This woman is filing a federal lawsuit. The only way she will get any justice whatsoever is not in the state of Georgia but from Attorney General Holder who will fight for her rights in the federal courts. The conservative Georgia courts will just laugh at her. If she wasn’t doing something wrong, the police would never have bothered her in the first place. That’s called Georgia Justice.

    • weekends

      Well Mark, at least we don’t refuse to serve black folks at our retail stores like you yankees are notorious for doing. It really no wonder so many of you white boys get “gangbanged” up your way.

      • marylou

        Your comment is hate-filled and serves no purpose.

        The topic is any citizens’ civil rights…not racism…why would you think your bigoted comment deserves anything but disgust?

        • independent thinker

          His comment is in no way hate-filled and it does serve a purpose. Weekends’ comment points out the hypocrisy of the yankees trying to find any little fault with the South while doing much worse themselves.

          • marylou

            Generalization is the tool of fools!
            I have lived in both the north and the south.
            Bigots, racists and fools are equally represented in both places…and that is black on white racism, white on black racism and black racism on those not black enough!
            Give it a rest!

            The topic was the civil rights of a nurse doing her job and the brutality she was subjected to by those who are supposed to protect and defend…but……obviously no one sent them the memo!

    • texastwin827

      Mark, you really need to do a little research before making such a broad statement. Data up through 2012 shows the three highest states for police brutality are BLUE states ….California, New York & Colorado

      The “pattern” as you call it isn’t just Southern states …those 3 Blue states have more cases that numerous Southern states, combined

      • Francis Andrews

        Thank you.

      • CommonSense4America

        Please don’t encourage him to move.

      • mark

        Yes but police brutality is punished in the Blue States. In the Red States, the police get medals for their brutality

        • MaloneLavey

          You’re kidding right? Cops NEVER apologize. They may place their officers on “administrative leave” which amounts to a paid vacation, or they may “reassign” them, or even fire them. But the PD’s apologies are always NON-apologies. By that I mean they use weasel words like “mistakes were made”, “unfortunate” or “it is regrettable” without ever owning responsibility. They close ranks like the armed gang of thugs they are. If a cop kills a civilian who’s even slightly in the wrong, it’s “in the line of duty” or at the most “excessive force”. But if a civilian kills a cop who is out of line, he’s labeled a “cop killer” and tormented by the Brotherhood for the rest of his short miserable life.

    • CommonSense4America

      IF what you say about not wanting to live here is true,(which it is not) then we are doing the South a great favor. It’s working.

      • independent thinker

        marx’s first name is Karl

        • CommonSense4America

          What’s your point?

    • MaloneLavey

      Your own prejudice is showing, mark. You can google for yourself that these incidents occur all over the map, primarily in heavily-populated (and often Blue) states like New York and California. It’s an authoritarian mindset that is not unique to either conservatives or liberals. Both parties want to control you and restrict your liberty – they just choose different ways to do it.

  • sotiredoflies13

    this is happening all to often , more and more everyday, and NOT just in the South! Forget about the “protect & serve”, many years since we have seen or heard of that old saying, other than in jest, kinda like the “American Dream”. One can get stopped for getting caught by one of those 2 1/2 second caution traffic lights that turn RED in half the time one is expecting, then comply with officers every unwarranted privacy requests, and still go to jail, many times in worse health conditions. sad & very scary.

    • Francis Andrews

      Then why don’t we use our votes in our local communities to make it stop? We all pay the salaries of the local politicians and the police. Use the power we have to make them pay for this.

  • dan

    …fit justice would be four mentally incapacitated cops committed
    to Nurse Martha’s Ward

  • weekends

    They don’t really still wonder why people have less & less respect for the police every single day….DO THEY!?

  • jdn

    There are almost no good cops left in America and every time I hear the indignation from one claiming to be one of the good guys it makes me sick . If they are so good WHY won’t they stand up and put a stop to the crap the bad officers are pulling ? No , Never , just a blind eye for the brothers in blue .

    • Bill

      I disagree with you. There are a large majority of good cops out there. It is just that the media tells about the bad ones. It is similar to the way the media plays up the bad gun violence and never tells about the lives saved by using a gun for self defense

      • marylou

        When ALL the GOOD officers stop covering for the ‘bad apples’ then maybe your comment may hold some weight!
        When GOOD people, anywhere, refuse to do “something’, corruption is the result. We are all responsible for our own acts and consequences and that includes law enforcement as well.
        You know….see something…..say something!

  • daveH234

    This has nothing to do with Federal but is State related and actually Police departments are City and/or county operatives. Georgia has always been a tough “cop” state. It ‘s local abuse of power unabated till mistakes are publicized and criticized by the local media/constituents.

    • Francis Andrews

      Absolutely, and should be handled by the voters in that state/county/community. Are they so lazy that they will allow this to continue? It will only get worse. People are crying and whining about these events, but too lazy to write a letter, go to the polls. A lot of us are paying the price, because some are just so dang lazy.

  • Oldmonkey

    Caught in the act! Remaiming question is the nurse’s preferred combination of retribution & money.

  • YourAntithesis

    There’s a reason they’re referred to as “pigs”. There are no derogatory terms for people in the medical field, teachers, the military, firefighters, etc. When they have the motto “To Serve and Protect” on their vehicles and they call themselves “the good guys” but commit act after act of garbage like this, one doesn’t need to wonder why they’re called pigs. And it’s laughable to see some trying to defend them, too. Those people are usually cops themselves or related to one and could never imagine their loved ones being corrupt, but remaining silent in the presence of such corruption makes you equally guilty.

  • Chuckb

    It would be interesting to hear the conversation before the handcuffs came into play. Some people get very arrogant , I have a feeling this nurse was one of them.

    Some people see dollar signs when reacting with the Police, the courts have brought on a lot of the animosity involved in these contacts by awarding large settlements. It would be interesting to know if the nurse is colored and who were the arresting officers.

    • YourAntithesis

      Yeah, because “seeing dollar signs” is worth risking your life with these trigger-happy pigs, right?

      Did you even read the article, particularly the complaint section? If you did, what in the world would make you think the nurse brought this on herself? Oh, I get it. The fact that she did as her job demands she do or risk losing her license (per HIPAA Law) instead of just cowardly giving into every demand these pigs made makes her one to “get very arrogant”. Got it.

      • Chuckb

        In case you didn’t notice, that was the complaint filed by the nurse, that isn’t the police record. By the tone of your comments, it sounds like you may have had a run in with the so called pigs.

        Your comment is nothing more than rabble rousing and in this case arrogance was the most likely cause of the reaction, your assertion is nothing more than hyperbole. Got it!!

        • YourAntithesis

          Yeah, and in case you didn’t notice, she mentioned the PIGS refusing to speak with the Director of Nursing (not the charge nurse, but the director, which is a big difference and goes a way in explaining the gravity of the situation). This tells me there is AT LEAST 1 more person that can testify to the nurse’s statements in her complaint. Still think she’s making the whole thing up?

          People like you are part of the problem with these PIGS. Them being absolved of their illegal actions by the likes of you are what empower them to feel they can be judge, jury, and executioner. Would you be saying the same if it was your mother, wife, or daughter that had gone through this? Would you be saying they were “seeing dollar signs” and “getting very arrogant”?

          I doubt it. I’m sure you’d be the one driving them down to the nearest attorney, and that’s no hyperbole.

          And for the record, I’ve never even seen the inside of a jail cell, but the few run-ins I’ve had with the PIGS have all been being pulled over for speeding, because nothing says “fighting crime” like ticketing someone for doing 71 in a 65. I’m sure the world is a safer place because of it.

          • Chuckb

            Your bleeding heart is spilling over. It sounds like you are the judge and jury, Conviction of the police before the trial.

            “There are no derogatory terms for for people in the medical field, teachers, the military, firefighters, etc”.
            So the next time you need police assistance, call a teacher, call the Marines and of course call a fireman, I’m sure they will drop everything and come to your aid and where does it say a teacher vows to”serve and protect”
            I doubt if your attitude of the police comes from a speeding ticket, maybe from street or campus demonstration.

          • YourAntithesis

            “Bleeding heart”? LMAO! You’re the one going to bat for the poor, hapless victims these cops become on a daily basis (apparently, according to you).

            I would tell you to quit while you were ahead, but you were already losing with your initial post. Go spew this nonsense on some cop blog where they all tell each other how much of a difference they make on a daily basis while they gobble down doughnuts by the dozen. Seriously, have you seen some of these disgusting slobs? It’s no wonder they resort to Tazers and firearms, because wrestling a “perp” down is just too much work.

            And you just keep making my point when you state to call someone else when I “need police assistance”. You mean like in cases reported where the local police department has told its citizens to arm themselves because they just cannot respond as quickly as they would like when called? Sure, I’m supposed to believe it’s because they’re spread thin due to budget cuts, but they still have enough cops to have them sit on the side of the freeway for hours and hours with a radar gun, right?

            There’s a reason why, again, the saying of “When seconds count, the police are minutes away” was birthed. But please, continue telling everyone how awesome they really are.

          • Chuckb

            When did you get out of prison or are you still behind bars?

          • tannasmarchat

            So, you admit you’re breaking the law, and yet it is the police who are wrong for pulling your over?

            Oh, that’s a great way to convince people that you’re a honest, law abiding, person. I’ll bet you’re one of the ones who starts their mouth running the minute the officer walks up.

          • YourAntithesis

            Braking the law? LMAO! Technically, “breaking the law” would be doing 61 in a 60. If a cop pulled you over for that, would you thank him? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

            I’ll ask you the same question: If one of your loved ones had been the nurse in this story, would you be saying the pigs did a great job and that your loved one deserved it? Simple question.

        • jim

          And chuckie your comment shows that you know NOTHING of the way these things work. So the best thing you can do is shut your mouth. and stick to world of war craft. I have been a Paramedic for 35 years and have dealt with [expletive deleted] cops ALL those years. I even had a CHP officer arrest a partner at the scene of an accident because he wanted “HIS” highway opened. He arrested my partner then proceeded to pull a woman with a spinal fracture out of the vehicle so it could be towed off the road. Guess what? My partner was out of jail before the officer finished the paper work. The woman is a paraplegic and millionaire and the CHP office is shoveling [expletive deleted] somewhere as he is no longer a police officer. arrogance by the Police Officers was the most likely cause of the reaction, your assertion is nothing more than hyperbole. Got it!! If you don’t know what you are talking about STFU.

    • Jim

      The conversation has nothing to do with anything. This was a locked mental facility. NOONE repeat NOONE regardless of their status including police officers gain access into a locked mental facility unless they are given permission by the administrator in charge and ESCORTED by a tech or Nurse. The nurse was doing her job correctly refusing them access until permission had been obtained. Even in a city such as Detroit where I was a Paramedic for almost 20 years Officers and or Paramedics,take Psychs to a holding area where custody is transferred to the nurse or tech on duty. These cops were out of control and need to pay either financially or with the loss of their jobs. I wonder how they would feel if the judge ruled that they were in need of a psychological evaluation and committed them to the same facility. And the wife of the [expletive deleted] officer that bragged of the smack down you can guess is just like her husband and uses that to get her way allot, “You better do what i say MY husband is a Police officer” But the truth is that he is just a thug in uniform.

  • Bob Pante

    These guys all need to loose their jobs and do some time for aggravated assault they are the ones that give all Police a bad name.

  • anonymous

    i know one of these officers unfortunately, and his wife was bragging that very same day that her husband “put the smack down on a nurse”. Just a bunch of hotheads with badges that think they are above the law. I hope she wins. She was doing her job just as they were. Interestingly enough, one of these officers is currently being sued by another woman for killing her husband bc he claims he was going for his partners gun. what a shame

  • Alondra

    Look how man was treated just for asking the question. If this is not a TYRANNY, so what is this?


    i’ll say it again,ALL COPS ARE CORRUPT!there is not a single good cop anywhere,they become pigs so they can do this(along with shooting people and murder and even assasinations)so if you want to be a cop,that means you have issues already,why you think the pigs have to go to a shrink every month?half are on meds so they can function!never trust a cop,ever!!cops will lie,they are trained to lie,half say they have warrants but don’t!everything these pigs do is to get what they think is the right thing,they have no respect for the laws of people,the rights that were given us,they don’t care,and don’t care what happens to you or any incoveniance they may have caused us,at all!cops are corrupt and come into the field with mental issues and that’s what the gov’t wants,mindless drones to carry out their orders!stepping on the people in the process and costing us unnessasary pain and costs,that they inflicked!
    it took this type of abuse for a friend of mine for him to open his eyes!a warrant that had all the wrong info on it(county,name,address,etc)and the judge still allowed all items taken(stolen)to be used in court!only a corrupt system would allow that to move forward!

    • tannasmarchat

      As a former Police Officer, I will state for the record .. YOU ARE WRONG!
      I put that uniform on to help people.

      Abuse happens, but to damn everyone who ever put on a badge displays a prejudice reviling the KKK and the NCCAP combined.