The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that the most excellent local LAPD critic Jasmyne Cannick1 filed suit against the City of Los Angeles and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck last week. The suit alleges, completely plausibly, that the LAPD arrested her during November 2014 protests about the shooting of Michael Brown, the same series of protests, incidently, which gave rise to Chua v. City of LA, in retaliation for her highly critical reporting on the LAPD in general and Charlie Beck in particular.2
Anyway, the Times story is great as far as it goes, but, as usual, it doesn’t contain much of the wonky details that we love around here. It doesn’t even mention that the suit was filed in Federal Court. But it was, and I went out and got copies of the primary sources:
- Initial complaint — filed Friday, December 2, 2016.
- First amended complaint — filed Tuesday, December 6, 2016. I couldn’t spot the differences, but I didn’t look that hard.
I’ll collect filings here in static storage, which you can also get to kind of from the menu structure. At some point in the next few days I’m going to reorganize the Lawsuits submenu, and at that time I’ll probably add a dedicated page for these records. Read on for some selections if you don’t like PDFs.
17. Plaintiff is a highly respected journalist and political/social commentator. She has written a number of articles and news reports about the LAPD. During her journalistic career, she has written articles or news reports about controversial topics regarding the LAPD and Chief Beck. At times, Plaintiff has been extremely critical of the actions and decisions of the LAPD and its leadership.
18. On the evening of November 19, 2014, Plaintiff was covering a protest march against police brutality in downtown Los Angeles. She was intending to report on her observations of this public event.
19. Plaintiff was following a throng of protesters. In the area of 6th Street and Flower Street, LAPD officers started herding Plaintiff and the protesters towards 6th Street and Hope Street.
20. At 6th Street and Hope Street, while following the protesters, Plaintiff was blocked in on all sides by LAPD officers. LAPD officers did not allow Plaintiff to move beyond the containment of about 150 protesters.
21. Plaintiff noticed that there were other reporters who were contained with the protesters. She observed that LAPD officers were allowing the other reporters to leave after identifying themselves as reporters. When Plaintiff attempted to do the same, LAPD officers did not allow her to leave the area.
22. Subsequently, Plaintiff was detained, handcuffed and arrested without probable cause or reasonable suspicion. Officer Martinez was the arresting officer. Plaintiff was unlawfully arrested under Penal Code § 409—Failure to Disperse.
23. At the time of Plaintiff’s unlawful detention and arrest, Chief Beck was in the area. Chief Beck made eye contact with Plaintiff. Chief Beck knew who Plaintiff was. In fact, Plaintiff had conducted a face-to-face interview of Chief Beck on a prior occasion. Plaintiff is informed and believes that he knew that Plaintiff did not engage in any illegal activity while at the protest march. Plaintiff is informed and believes that Chief Beck observed her unlawful detention and arrest. Plaintiff is informed and believes that Chief Beck knew that she was being unlawfully detained and arrested. Finally, Plaintiff is informed and believes that Chief Beck allowed her to be unlawfully arrested and detained due to his displeasure about Plaintiff’s articles or news reports that were extremely critical of the LAPD or his leadership of the LAPD.
24. After her arrest, Plaintiff was transported to Van Nuys jail where she was physically searched and stripped of her belongings. She was not released from custody until the next morning on November 20, 2014.
- Who, it turns out, has a Wikipedia page that she wrote a lot of herself. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’m surprised, pleasantly, that the wikifreaks haven’t descended on her with their digital pitchforks and torches as they are wont to do in such cases.
- Including, but not limited to, her marvelous work exposing in great detail shenanigans involving Charlie Beck, his daughter Brandi Pearson, and her horse, which was evidently named after her grandfather, Deputy Chief George Beck. Not to mention this fercockt mishegas.