A West Philadelphia family accused police of brutality during a search of their home Tuesday night for a shooting suspect.
Family members said Tanya Yates, 26, a teaching assistant at Edward Heston Elementary School, was punched and beaten with batons as police entered the house searching for her brother, Odell Balmer, 30, who fit the description of a shooting suspect.
Yates was in police custody at Mercy Hospital in West Philadelphia, said Evan Hughes, a lawyer. She had not been charged as of late Tuesday night.
"Her face is pretty bruised and beaten," Hughes said, adding that it was "completely unclear why the police attacked her."
Lt. Ray Evers, a police spokesman, declined comment Tuesday night.
Hughes represents Askia Sabur, 29, whose violent arrest was recorded on video and posted on YouTube in September. That episode is being investigated by Internal Affairs, but police have said the video does not tell the whole story.
Yates is Sabur's cousin.
Paul Balmer, 80, said he was at home in the 1500 block of North Conestoga Street between 7:30 and 8 p.m. when several officers came to his front door demanding to enter.
"I said, 'Where's your warrant?' " Balmer said, "and they said, 'We don't need a warrant.' "
An officer kicked the door repeatedly, and finally the family allowed the police in, said Michele Edwards, 46, Balmer's daughter.
"The police made an illegal entry into that house searching for a suspect," Hughes said.
Officers took Odell Balmer, but they also pointed at Yates and said, "That's the one," Edwards said. Family members said they had no idea why the officers targeted Yates.
Family members alleged that the two male officers punched Yates in the face and that a female officer struck her in the legs with a baton. A male officer kicked Yates in the stomach, they said.
She was taken away in a police vehicle, Edwards said.
Odell Balmer was taken into custody but later was released from the 19th Police District station at 61st Street and Haverford Avenue. Edwards said he walked home.
Edwards said the family had been subject to police harassment since Sabur's arrest in September, for which he is awaiting trial on two counts of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and related offenses.