Lawsuit against LAPD adds fresh claims of injury among protesters, possible coronavirus exposure of arrestees crammed on buses

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LAPD officers in riot gear form a police line during a May 27 Black Lives Matter protest in downtown L.A.(Gabriella Angotti-Jones / Los Angeles Times)

LAPD officers in riot gear form a police line during a May 27 Black Lives Matter protest in downtown L.A.(Gabriella Angotti-Jones / Los Angeles Times)

A lawsuit alleging violent abuses of power by Los Angeles police during recent protests has been greatly expanded to include more details on demonstrators’ injuries and their allegations of mistreatment, as well as explicit claims of poor leadership among top police brass.

First filed earlier this month by the Los Angeles chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, Black Lives Matter and Los Angeles Community Action Network, the lawsuit was amended Sunday to provide a more complete breakdown of arrests — there were more than 3,000 over the course of several days — and accuses the LAPD of repeatedly misapplying the law to clear the streets. The lawsuit says demonstrators’ constitutional rights were violated and many were left bloodied and bruised.

“We wanted to show the scope of what happened over all of these days and the range of injuries,” said Carol Sobel, a longtime civil rights attorney who is helping to represent the plaintiffs. “What’s extraordinary about this is how many people got shot in the upper torso or the head, because those are potentially deadly strikes.”

The updated lawsuit also elaborates on the possible exposure of arrestees to the coronavirus after being crammed on buses for hours, often for infractions that the plaintiffs argue do not legally justify arrest or detention, only citations on the street.It accuses LAPD Chief Michel Moore of condoning such arrests despite knowing the risks posed by the virus, and of ordering the types of force that can severely wound demonstrators, including the firing of foam and sponge bullets into crowds.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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