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© SpecialThis photo, taken by a bystander, shows Officer Kenneth Thomas placing Shequita Walker under arrest.

A physically disabled Atlanta woman says a police officer threw her to the ground and arrested her when she refused to move from her chair.

Shequita Walker, 40, suffers from severe joint pain and has a limited range of motion. For several years, Walker has enjoyed sitting in a metal chair in the vacant lot next to her apartment complex on Boulevard. Walker says she isn't on the sidewalk or in anyone's way, and has spent many hot afternoons waiting on the ice cream truck to drive by so she can buy a cold treat.

But on April 21, an Atlanta police officer asked her to move when she was in her regular spot, next to three other people. Walker responded by telling Officer Kenneth Thomas she was within her rights to sit outside, and that other Atlanta officers had not had a problem with it.

"She did stand her ground," attorney Dan Grossman told the AJC. "She clearly gave him defiance and some attitude."

Thomas then grabbed Walker's wrist and twisted her arm, causing her to fall to the concrete, unable to get up on her own, Walker said. Another Atlanta officer helped Walker to her feet and to the back of a patrol car. An ambulance was called to transport Walker to Grady Memorial Hospital, where she received treatment for a shoulder injury sustained when she hit the ground, Grossman said.

When she was released from the hospital, Walker then spent the night in jail on a disorderly conduct charge. The case against Walker was later dropped, but her attorney said the matter isn't over.
woman, arrested,walker
© SpecialIn this photo, taken by a bystander, Shequita Walker lies on the ground. Officer Kenneth Thomas is on the right.

"It's not like they did this to a healthy woman," Grossman told the AJC. "She has very limited range of motion. She suffered and she deserves some compensation."

The Atlanta Citizen Review Board examined Walker's complaint that she was falsely arrested, concluding that the officer should be disciplined for his actions, according to a letter sent to APD Chief George Turner. The APD has not yet responded to the letter, Grossman said.

APD spokesman Carlos Campos said the department will not comment on the case while it is still under investigation.

Additionally, the review board found that during a five-month period, Thomas had made 38 arrests, 27 of which were for disorderly conduct. The total of 27 arrests for disorderly conduct was three times the amount made by two other officers that patrol the same area, during the same shift, the letter sent to Turner states.

"These people are just arrested because he (Thomas) doesn't like their attitude," Grossman said.

Grossman said he hopes the case can be resolved without the expense of a lawsuit against the city.