Woman speaks out for first time about injuries she suffered at hands of Hickory police officer

Woman speaks out for first time about injuries she suffered at hands of Hickory police officer

HICKORY, N.C. — A local woman is speaking out for the first time about the brutal injuries she suffered at the hands of a Hickory police officer.

Surveillance video from outside the Hickory police headquarters in 2013 captured the moments Chelsea Doolittle was injured after Sgt. Robert George threw her to the ground while she was handcuffed.

The video shows George's police cruiser pulling into the station with Doolittle handcuffed in the back seat. She had been arrested for disorderly conduct.

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About 15 seconds later, George can be seen ripping Doolittle out of the patrol car and slamming her to the ground.

She suffered a busted lip and broken teeth.

“It broke my heart…me seeing my face for the first time broke my heart. My teeth hanging...my whole face. I didn't look like myself. I really thought I was in a dream,” she said.

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Doolittle’s attorney, Brad Smith, said that during her criminal case the city would not release the video of George throwing her from the car, even though he was under investigation, indicted, then fired in 2014.

“It was hard to see how they were treating her as a victim while simultaneously prosecuting her,” Smith said.

The charges against Doolittle were eventually dropped.

Doolittle said she has been trying to clear her name because people believed she deserved what happened.

“I have never been the one to disrespect law enforcement. That's how I feel people took it, that I was being disrespectful to him and I got what I deserved.”

In January 2019, a federal jury found George guilty of using unreasonable force.

He was sentenced to four years of probation.

Lawsuit: Police used excessive force during Hickory woman's arrest

Doolittle reached a $400,000 settlement with the city of Hickory earlier this month.

“I hope no one has to go through what I went through,” she said. “My scars, my teeth, this will be with me forever, but I do forgive him.”

Doolittle told Channel 9 that she now struggles to trust people, and feels anxiety around police.

She had braces for five years because of her injuries, and will have to undergo dental implants.