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ACLU files lawsuit over eviction of mother and daughter

ACLU files lawsuit over eviction of mother and daughter (ABC7)
ACLU files lawsuit over eviction of mother and daughter (ABC7)
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Donya Williams said she was naked when US Marshals burst into her bedroom with their guns drawn.

“And I’m sitting there just shaking, just trembling and I’m saying, ‘please just give me a minute to get dressed because I don’t have on anything,” said Williams.

At the time, her daughter Juanita was 12-years old.

“I was terrified that something would happen because you know it was unexpected and it happened all so quick,” said Juanita.

A judge ordered the Marshals to the Southeast Apartment in 2015 to evict Williams for not paying her rent. Williams is not contesting that, but she and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are filing a complaint with the US Marshals Service. The complaint accuses the Marshals of overreacting.

“There is not even a plausible safety justification for that. It’s just humiliating and it’s wrong,” said ACLU attorney Scott Michelman.

Michelman said the Marshals pulled Williams into the parking lot when her private parts were exposed.

ABC-7 called the US Marshals service, but investigators could not comment right now because of the potential litigation.

We asked Williams about the allegations she and the ACLU raised in the complaint.

TIM BARBER: “You were in a back room, and the door was shut. Can you understand that [the Marshals] might have felt threatened?”

WILLIAMS: “They have my record. I have [no criminal record]-- not even a bad driving record.”

But Williams has been involved in several civil lawsuits, so we pressed her about that as well.

TIM BARBER: “Are you out to just get money?”

WILLIAMS: “No. This is a thing about standing up for your rights.”

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Williams told us she was not paying rent at the time because she was in a dispute with her landlord. She has since moved into another Southeast Washington apartment.

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