MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – After a traffic stop in February, a Myrtle Beach police officer can be heard on a body camera saying “that’s a huge lawsuit dude.” The officer was right, but attorneys for the police department are asking a federal judge to dismiss the case.
It was filed by a mother and daughter — ages 43 and 19 at the time — who were pulled over by officers with guns drawn and handcuffed.
Attorneys for the women — Nervan Ibrahim and Sandra Ataalla — claim bad record keeping by the Horry County Sheriff’s Office led to the stop.
The women were in a rental car with a license plate that had been reported stolen in January. The plate was reported found two weeks before the traffic stop, according to the attorneys, but the sheriff’s office didn’t update national database records.
When police stopped the women, officers didn’t approach the car, but instead pointed their guns and asked the women to “face the other way and walk backward to the sound of my voice.”
“Had they just gone up to these women’s car and spoken to them for a second they would have realized they were unarmed, harmless, and clueless as to the status of the license plate,” attorney Lauren Knight said.
The lawsuit alleges officers “laugh amongst themselves on video” after realizing the error.
In a response to the lawsuit, attorneys for the Myrtle Beach police department denied “that the stop was ‘entirely inappropriate, excessive, and harmful.’” The attorneys argued, “the officers’ actions were reasonable under the circumstances and the information they had at the time of the traffic stop.”
The police department asked a federal judge to dismiss the case. Horry County’s public information office previously told News13 it won’t comment on pending litigation.