September 7, 2007
LAPD Facing Possible Class Action Suit for Breaking Up May 1 Protests
The L.A. Times reports that the Los Angeles Police Department may be slapped with a class action suit for its conduct at May 1 immigration marches in downtown Los Angeles. Civil rights lawyers have filed 164 more claims against the city of Los Angeles in connection with injuries or emotional harm allegedly suffered when the LAPD broke up a May 1 immigration protest. Lawyer Carol Sobel, speaking for scores of people who were in or near the park on the day when police fired rubber bullets into the crowd, said she and other lawyers would pursue a class-action lawsuit against the city and the LAPD. Sobel said claims were filed to give lawyers more time to identify all of the potential plaintiffs and to encourage people to come forward, regardless of their immigration status. Sobel submitted the claims along with lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
So far, 10 lawsuits have been filed over the incident and 258 legal claims have been submitted -- nine of them by journalists who covered the event that day.
The May 1 incident prompted investigations by the LAPD and the FBI, and forced Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to return early from a trade mission to Mexico and Central America. Police Chief William J. Bratton responded by reassigning two high-level commanders.
The 33-page filing contains complaints from residents who said they were struck by batons, hit by rubber bullets or otherwise injured while fleeing from police -- including one woman who said she subsequently suffered a miscarriage. The filing also includes a number of people who said they suffered emotionally, including children and senior citizens who said they were traumatized. The plaintiffs collectively will seek monetary damages and changes at the LAPD, including the implementation of more frequent and consistent training on how to deal with crowds.
September 7, 2007 | Permalink
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The LAPD has quite a reprehensible reputation. I get clients complaining to me of the police brutality on a daily basis. They kick, hit and beat people, ordinary citizens, during investigation... I don't really understand how they are trained. Especially, when they are dealing with immigrants, 'second-class citizens', they reveal their worst colors. That is quite appalling. Something must seriously be done with these people. They have no right to serve as police officers. Their place is perhaps in the jail where they force people into... Unfortunately, the class action lawsuits will affect the city treasury, not these people because the money will not go from their pockets. The most they risk is loss of job-- not much of an incentive to stop this behavior in the street.
Posted by: Zoya Kosmodemianskaya | Sep 7, 2007 10:26:18 AM
While they shouldn't be mistreated, they're not second class citizens, because they're illegal aliens, not citizens. Learn the difference, as the former will eventually be deported. I suspect that the police are as fustrated as are the vast majority of Americans who feel illegal aliens are flouting the law. How many of those angels of yours are using epithets and insults to make their point on the street and antagonizing the police? I suspect there are many. The police are supposed to take such abuse with equanimity. If they don't there are hundreds of illegal alien apologists to file complaints on their behalf.
Posted by: Horace | Sep 8, 2007 12:30:09 PM