An Istanbul court yesterday handed down a prison term of seven years to four police officers in a case of police violence that killed U.S. national Tracey Lynn Brown in 2013.
The 48-year-old was a transit passenger at Istanbul's Atatürk airport when she entered an office used by police officers on April 4, 2013.
The prosecutor said she was forcibly removed from the room when she refused to leave and returned hours later to the room, throwing objects at officers and wielding a pair of scissors. She was then taken to a room where unruly passengers are held and officers claimed she became more aggressive and injured one of the officers. She was handcuffed and forced to the ground before she stopped breathing. Paramedics were called to the scene but she died at the hospital.
The officers were among 12 accused of using disproportionate force while restraining Brown. Eight other officers were acquitted of all charges while a doctor, accused of abuse of duty for writing a medical report regarding Brown's death, was slapped with a TL 12,100 ($2,247) fine for causing death through negligence.
Trying to justify their actions, the sentenced officers blamed the victim and said Brown suffered from "schizophrenia" and claimed their use of force was "proportionate." The court charged them with overstepping their use of force and deliberate injury causing death.