IssuesFree Speech, Police Misconduct
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund has joined with National Lawyers
Guild attorneys in filing a federal class action lawsuit against the
Oakland Police Department and other agencies. The lawsuit, filed June
13, 2011, challenges the unconstitutional mass arrest of 150 protestors
demonstrating against the light sentence given to Office Johnannes
Mehserle, the BART police officer who killed Oscar Grant.
On November 5, 2010, the police stopped the lawful First Amendment protected activity, forced protestors onto a side street, where without warning, demonstrators and bystanders were trapped, detained, prevented from dispersing, and arrested without probable cause. Those arrested were held in abusive conditions of confinement, for up to 24 hours in overcrowded holding cells without cots or even room to lie on the floor. Women who were arrested were forced to undergo pregnancy testing. None of the class members were ever charged.
The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief as well as monetary damages. The complaint may be read here.