May Day Plaintiffs And Attorneys Call For Action At One-Year Anniversary Of Police Assaults

City hires 9 law firms at further expense to the taxpayers

May 01, 2008

LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, attorneys and plaintiffs from the May Day class-action lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) held a press conference to mark the one-year anniversary of the police assaults against peaceful families who marched in support of comprehensive immigration reform last year.

The suit, filed last year in federal court seeks damages for injuries and appropriate disciplinary actions of LAPD officers who violated the First Amendment rights of rally participants on May 1, 2007. Families, including women and young children, suffered severe injuries as a result of the LAPD’s improper actions, such as declaring an unlawful assembly, unlawfully dispersing participants with threats and actual use of force, and giving people vague instructions in English only when clearing MacArthur Park.

Gladys Limon, Staff Attorney of MALDEF, said, “The unwarranted and unlawful use of force unleashed by the LAPD has resulted in deep disappointment and a sense of betrayal in the community. We urge the City to resolve this matter quickly so that the victims can move forward with their lives.”

Since the case has been filed, the City has yet to reach a fair settlement. Just last week, the City Council approved contracting with nine law firms to represent the LAPD in the lawsuit. By hiring so many law firms, the City will incur great costs and potentially delay the settlement outcome.

Carol A. Sobel, Attorney of the Law Office of Carol A. Sobel, said, “It has been a full year. Those officers who acted unlawfully need to be held accountable. The Mayor and the Council need to make good on their promise to compensate the victims of the police assault last year and they need to work to do so quickly instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, to defend the indefensible actions of the police.”

The plaintiffs plan to march together in solidarity during the day’s immigration rallies. Victor Narro, Co-President of the National Lawyers Guild - LA Chapter, said, “Our plaintiffs, including children and elders, women and men, endured physical as well as psychological injuries, such as anguish, fear, and stress. They have displayed great courage and dignity on their part to participate again this year for their rights and of all immigrants.”

For all media inquiries, please contact Laura Rodriguez.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund