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Parents, livid over SFPD arrests of teens at Dolores hill bomb, vow lawsuits

An excerpt from Mission Local. To read the full article, click here.

Rachel Lederman, a long-time civil rights attorney now with the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, has spoken to some two dozen parents, teenagers, and young adults, she said, gathering information about the Saturday arrests for a possible civil lawsuit. 

“These children were held incommunicado, in the cold, outside, and they didn’t notify parents until right before they were releasing children in the early morning hours,” Lederman said. “The vast majority of the arrests were unlawful, and the conditions in which the kids in particular were held are outrageous.”

SFPD has said the group was involved in illegal acts, including vandalism and assaults on officers with fireworks and glass bottles. Lederman said the police could not have known that those encircled had committed those acts earlier in the day, and several parents said their children were in transit across the Mission when they were ensnared by police. 

“These were unlawful arrests and violated the kids’ Fourth Amendment rights, as well as potentially their First Amendment rights to freedom of assembly and association,” she said. “These kids were just swept up for being near the skate event, or even after the skate event wasn’t going on any longer.”

Any potential case is in the earliest, information-gathering phase, Lederman said. She will seek to call a meeting of as many parents as possible. If the parents want to sue and she believes there is a winnable case, her firm will do so, she said.