A court in Istanbul has found four police officers and a doctor guilty of causing the death of an American woman at Istanbul Atatürk Airport in 2013, while seven other police officers have been acquitted.
Tracey Lynn Brown, 48, had died after an altercation with police as officers held her to the ground following her reported “aggressive” behavior. Brown arrived on April 4, 2013 at Atatürk Airport from the Uzbek capital Tashkent and had a connecting flight to Chicago with Turkish Airlines. She waited 13 hours in the international arrivals terminal.
According to the relevant video footage, she had a quarrel with police officers and later wounded one with a pair of scissors. Police officers then handcuffed Brown to a chair but she was able to release herself. In response, they forced Brown to the ground face down and handcuffed her from behind. They were seen putting pressure on Brown’s back, feet and hands with their knees for about 17 minutes.
Brown passed away at a hospital in Istanbul due to injuries caused by “strong pressure applied to her chest and neck” on April 18.
The 15th High Criminal Court in Istanbul handed four police officers jail time of seven years and six months, ruling that they “caused injuries which led to death and had gone beyond the boundaries of the right to use force.”
Seven other police officers accused of the same charges were acquitted due to a lack of evidence.
The hospital doctor was given a fine of 12,100 Turkish Liras ($2,250) for reckless behavior.
The charges against a police officer who died in September 2017 were dropped.
The prosecutor sought a jail sentence of 16 years for four police officers and six years for the doctor.