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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A group from Atlanta is bringing new accusations of police brutality in the case of a teenager who strangled herself in the back of a police car, but even the teen s family is distancing itself from the group and its charges.

The New Black Liberation Militia/Institute stood outside the CitiTrends store on Freedom Drive Saturday, preaching their case against Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police. The group s speaker, Mauricelm-Lei Millere, accused officers of beating Tanisha Williams with a baton before putting her in the back of the police car.

Williams had been accused of shoplifting from the store on December 5th, but police have said she was taken into custody because she refused to give her name.

After being placed in the back of an officer s car, the car s dashboard camera shows Williams still handcuffed -- banging her head against a Plexiglas partition, and then wrapping the car s seatbelt around her neck three times. She then slumps over.

Minutes later, after repeatedly trying to talk to Williams, officers notice the seat belt around her neck and cut it loose, then perform CPR.

Williams family said she is brain-dead, and breathing with the help of a ventilator. They have not made any decisions about her long-term care, but do not expect her to recover.

Millere contends Williams behaved erratically because she had already been beaten, quoting phone calls he said his organization received at their office in Atlanta.

They saw the girl beaten and laying face down on the concrete before she even got in the car, he said.

Police deny the accusations, but said the case is still being investigated.

If we have witnesses come forward, you d better believe we're going to investigate it, said CMPD spokesman Rob Tufano on Saturday. But this is the first time I'm hearing any of that.

Even Williams s family is distancing itself from the group s attempt to draw attention to the case. The family s attorney, William Harding, said the group has every right to speak its opinion, but Williams s family doesn t agree with their accusations.

This is not an issue of police brutality or harassment, said Harding. This is an issue of neglect and failure to follow the policies.

Harding said Tanisha Williams should not have been left unsupervised in the back of the patrol car when she was seen banging her head on the plastic partition in a fit of rage.

Tufano said an officer had left to get additional restraints, but then thought Williams had calmed down by the time they got back. He said they could not see the belt around her neck because her hair covered it up.

Police are still conducting an internal investigation, and reviewing security tape from nearby businesses to get a more complete picture of what happened before and after Williams was put in the police car.

Tufano said his sympathy goes out to Williams s family, but police could not have prevented what happened. He said if there is more to the story, police, too, would like to hear it.

If anybody does have that kind of information, we ask they come forward -- we'll interview them, said Tufano. But the way I see it -- the way the department sees it -- right now that this is nothing but a tragic, self-inflicted injury.

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