Cobb County is set to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit for $250,000 with a woman who in 2017 was detained by Cobb police officers during a nighttime Uber shift.
Sharon DeArmond and her attorney, Lisa C. Lambert, first filed the suit nearly three years ago, alleging officers pointed their guns at her and unlawfully detained her on suspicion of driving a prostitute to an extended-stay hotel in Cumberland.
DeArmond will receive just over $146,000 from the county, while Lambert will receive nearly $104,000, per a copy of the settlement agreement.
The incident itself stems from October 2017, court documents show. DeArmond dropped a passenger off at the Extended Stay America at 2225 Interstate North Parkway around 9 p.m., before driving to the parking lot at the nearby Pappadeaux and Pappasito’s restaurants.
There, DeArmond stepped out of her car and lit a cigarette while waiting for her next ride.
Cobb and DeArmond are largely in agreement on what happened next, according to the suit and the county’s legal response. Three police cars arrived with their lights on, and at least one of the officers had his gun drawn (if not pointed). DeArmond was told to put her hands up, and explained that she was an Uber driver.
Police then handcuffed DeArmond, saying, “We’ll tell you (what’s happening) in a second ma’am. Cooperate right now. We’ll talk to you and tell you everything that is going on.”
DeArmond was next taken to another nearby parking lot for further questioning (in its response, the county said this was done “in order to prevent (the officers’) investigative operation from being compromised.” Officers explained the rider she had dropped off at the hotel was a prostitute, before releasing her.
In her initial filing, DeArmond claimed “mental and emotional distress, anxiety, humiliation” and other injuries, alleging she’d been unable to drive for Uber in the incident’s aftermath.
The Cobb police officers named in the suit were identified by last name only as Officers Robles and Rodas, Lts. Danz and Ramirez, and Detectives Hardwick-Tabor, Llewellyn, and McFarland.
County commissioners will vote on the settlement agreement at their regular meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday.