Brianna Grier’s family shares pain of loss, calls for changes

Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 3:29 PM EDT
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ATLANTA - A Hancock County father who lost his daughter to mental illness issued a cry for help.

“Due to the fact that we, my wife and I, would’ve known, we would’ve watched her 24/7 and gotten her help elsewhere and we would’ve never called 911,” Brianna Grier’s father said Wednesday.

The parents of Brianna Grier spoke out about the death of their daughter.

She was taken into custody by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office during a mental health crisis. While in transport, Grier, handcuffed and without a seatbelt, fell out of the police vehicle’s rear passenger-side door. Grier suffered brain trauma that led to a coma, and she died six days later on July 21.

Officers arrested Grier after her parents called 911 when their daughter, diagnosed with schizophrenia, threatened to hurt herself and her daughters.

They held a news conference Wednesday that got very emotional.

They were joined by civil rights attorney Ben Crump and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams in discussing the mental health crisis in Georgia and the critical need for Medicaid expansion and more mental health resources for the state.

One of Grier’s daughters cried as Grier’s mother was about to speak.

“Don’t cry, don’t cry. It’s OK,” the girl’s grandmother told her.

She said every night the girl calls out for her mom, and it’s heartbreaking.