Tennessee Woman Says Police Chief Watched Her Shower Before Carting Her Off to Jail

“The entire time, plaintiff felt humiliated and had no choice but to allow Tanksley to observe every intimate moment," according to her lawsuit.

A rural Tennessee woman is suing her small town and its police department on allegations that she was arrested for no good reason, twice within a few months, and even subjected to the humiliation of being watched by the police chief while she showered and dressed for jail.

Karry Yearwood said in a lawsuit filed in federal court Nov. 3 that she was unfairly targeted by a police department plagued by misconduct claims. She’s now seeking millions of dollars in damages from the small Appalachian town of Graysville, its police chief, and two of its officers.


In an effort to end an argument with two people in her front yard this past March, Yearwood alleged in her complaint that she called the police to get the people off her property.

She’d already had a negative interaction with local cops in December, when two officers arrested her nephew on a warrant and refused to show it to her. (It was discovered later that the warrant hadn’t been signed by a judge.) They then arrested Yearwood for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest “without any lawful justification,” according to her lawsuit. Those charges were later dropped, though, and Yearwood needed a cop that March day.

She went inside and sat on her couch, still in her pajamas, and waited for police to arrive. The city’s police chief, Julie Tanksley, ultimately responded to her call and kicked the two people off the property. Then Tanksley walked into Yearwood’s home unannounced and said she’d seen Yearwood assault her mother, Debbie Caraway. Confused because she’d been indoors the entire time Tanksley was present, Yearwood asked to speak with her mother, but Tanksley refused. The police chief allegedly said that Caraway told her Yearwood had attacked her. But Caraway overheard Tanksley and insisted she’d never made that allegation.

Yearwood was told she’d be going to jail that day anyway. She asked to at least change out of her pajamas and get cleaned up before she went, since she was menstruating. The police chief obliged, but said she’d have to watch Yearwood get showered and dressed.


“Tanksley then watched plaintiff get undressed, watched plaintiff shower, and watched plaintiff place a feminine hygiene product into her underwear as plaintiff got into clothes,” Yearwood’s attorney alleged in the lawsuit. “The entire time, plaintiff felt humiliated and had no choice but to allow Tanksley to observe every intimate moment."

None of the defendants has filed a response to the lawsuit, and attorneys for the city said they weren’t prepared to comment. The police department did not immediately respond to a VICE News request for comment about Yearwood’s claims.

Yearwood was charged with domestic assault for the March incident, although those charges were later dismissed by a judge, too.

Even before Yearwood’s arrests, the Graysville police department was plagued with issues, according to the lawsuit. For one, the local district attorney general, Mike Taylor, informed the city it wouldn’t prosecute any of Tanksley’s cases in May 2017 because the chief was at the time facing two charges of criminal extortion relating to cases she handled as police chief of another Tennessee police department. She was later found not guilty of those charges.

And the city’s last police chief before Tanskley, Jason Erik Redden, was indicted on ten counts of official misconduct, according to the lawsuit. He eventually pleaded guilty to two of those counts.

Another man who alleged he was arrested on an unapproved warrant also sued the Graysville police department in June, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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