NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A woman, her mother and her brother have all received money after filing lawsuits against a law enforcement agency. The three sued the North Charleston Police Department in separate lawsuits, claiming they were falsely arrested.
The woman's name is Shamika Bowens. She lives in Charleston County. Her mother is Jennifer Youmans and her brother is Rashawn Bowens.
The lawsuits stem from a North Charleston Police Department traffic stop on January 9, 2017, in which Bowens was alone. She pulled into the parking lot of a restaurant near Remount Road and Yeamans Hall Road.
The lawsuit names North Charleston police officers Wilson Bishop and Mark Nix. Bowens says Bishop conducted the stop and the incident was recorded by his body camera.
According to details in the lawsuit Bishop alleged to have smelled marijuana, and wanted to search Bowens' vehicle.
When she refused, the officer told her to get out of the car. That's when she called her mother, Youmans, to be a witness to the situation and because she feared for her safety.
The lawsuit states that Youmans brought her son, Rashawn Bowens, along with her to also be a witness and for safety purposes. He used his cell phone to record the interactions with the law enforcement officers.
The lawsuit claims Bishop removed his K-9 officer and told Bowens and her mother that he would allow the dog to bite them. The lawsuit states Bishop also pointed his weapon at them.
Bowens says her mother told the officers their actions were racist. Bowens says that's when all three, she, her mother and brother, were handcuffed. Her brother was later released at the scene, but she and her mother were taken to jail and charged. Their charges were later dismissed.
Bowens received $70,000 from the State Insurance Reserve Fund.
In separate lawsuits, her mother, Jennifer Youmans received $70,000 as well.
Her brother, Rashawn Bowens, received $110,000. The lawsuits state that during his arrest, Bowens was tackled by officers and hit his head on the ground.
The lawsuits show that officers never found any marijuana in Bowens’ vehicle or on her person.