SEVIERVILLE — A local woman is speaking out after back-to-back incidents including one where she says a sheriff’s deputy injured her wrist, followed by hate speech spray painted on her property and a neighboring drive.
Kimberly Jolie said a deputy broke her wrist after she had called 911 Tuesday, asking for help in getting construction workers to stop blocking the only road leading from her home. Wednesday morning, someone spray painted insults on her property and on neighboring property.
Jolie is a lesbian, and some of the slurs referred to her orientation while others said “Die.”
District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn confirmed Wednesday that TBI is investigating the incidents, but said he couldn’t answer additional questions about it.
“I cannot discuss matters pertaining to a pending investigation,” he said.
The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on the matter Wednesday, but acknowledged TBI had been asked to investigate.
Jolie said she has called the sheriff’s office multiple times over the last few weeks because contractors are constantly blocking her only route out from her home.
Jolie lives on a private, single-lane road off Rainbow Road, where it appears several homes and rental cabins have been built on what had been a single driveway.
There are now two cabins under construction between her home and Rainbow Road, and workers have been parking on the road and blocking Jolie from leaving.
Ashley Turley, manager of rental property along the road, said guests staying at the cabin had complained to her about the same issue and she’s also had issues with them.
“It’s been going on the last month or so with the foul language and not letting guests up and down and not letting (Jolie) up and down,” she said.
“I couldn’t even get my trash man here, he couldn’t come up and get trash because they would not move for him.”
Jolie had called the sheriff’s office about the road being blocked Tuesday, but when an officer arrived she said he restrained her, twisting her arm behind her back, and injured her wrist.
Her wrist was in a splint Wednesday, and she had forms from LeConte Medical Center showing she’d been treated there Tuesday.
Before the deputy arrived, she said 911 operators had told her she shouldn’t have used the emergency line to call about a property dispute, but she said she’d been instructed to do that by another deputy after an earlier call.
“I kept trying to repeat my story, I’m sure my voice was elevated,” she said.
When the deputy told her the workers had a right to drop off materials, she said she’d waited on them for an hour, she said.
At some point during that, she said the officer grabbed her wrist and twisted it behind her back, forcing her down onto her knees.
“Never once did I threaten or make any move to threat,” she said.
Jolie, who said she is retired from a job as a analyst with the U.S. Marshals Service, tried to tell the officer he was losing his self control but he handcuffed her for a time even after the injury, she said.
“These guys are out of control,” she said.
However, he eventually removed the handcuffs and left without arresting or charging her for a crime.
She went to the hospital, and eventually started calling state and federal law enforcement about the incident, she said.
And then overnight, someone spray painted the slurs and threats on her property and on the driveway leading to a rental cabin across from her.
She said she thinks the vandalism happened sometime early Wednesday morning, because a motion sensor light activated and her dog started barking.
She looked outside and didn’t see anyone at the time, but she found the graffiti the next morning.
“It’s bigotry at its best because I’m a lesbian, basically” she said.
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