Photojournalists sue LAPD, L.A. County Sheriff over alleged abuses at protests

Two photojournalists have alleged in federal lawsuits that they were physically assaulted by law enforcement officers at recent L.A. area protests.

5/6/2021 2:15:00 AM

Two photojournalists have alleged in federal lawsuits that they were physically assaulted by law enforcement officers at recent L.A. area protests.

Two photojournalists have alleged in federal lawsuits that they were physically assaulted by law enforcement officers at recent L.A. area protests.

Two more reviews have found glaring problems with the Los Angeles Police Department’s handling of last summer’s mass protests against police brutality.Stern’s lawsuit claims LAPD officers were “given the green light to use less lethal projectiles to thwart free speech and freedom of the press,” and that LAPD officers specifically targeted journalists by shooting projectiles “directly at them without justification, provocation, or warning.”

Biden signs bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday Biden signs bill into law making Juneteenth a national holiday NASA, Boeing Progress Toward July Launch of Second Starliner Flight

He is suing the city of Los Angeles, LAPD Chief Michel Moore and multiple individual officers.The department said Stern’s claims are being investigated, but declined to comment on the litigation. It has previously denied targeting journalists at demonstrations and lauded individual officers for responding bravely during the volatile Fairfax demonstration.

The department alsohas acknowledged shortcomings in its response to the spring protests, and admitted insufficient training on projectile weapons for some officers who were armed with them.The department is being sued by a raft of protesters alleging physical abuses with projectile weapons, and a federal judge is considering a request for an injunction on the weapons as part of a class-action claim against the LAPD brought by Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and other advocacy groups and demonstrators. headtopics.com

AdvertisementIn a separate lawsuit also filed this week, Nasser Baker, a photojournalist for OnScene.TV, alleges he was “physically pushed, struck, and threatened” by L.A. County sheriff’s deputies while videotaping interactions between deputies and protesters outside of the St. Francis Hospital in Lynwood on Sept. 12, as two deputies who had been shot in a separate incident were treated inside.

Baker alleged he shouted “I am media! I am media!” during the assault as another deputy said, “Get out of here or I’ll break your f—ing camera!”Baker alleged the deputies acted “with the objective of stifling press coverage” of the events, to “suppress and chill free speech” and to prevent the dissemination of video showing the department’s use of excessive and violent force on peaceful protesters.

He alleged deputies never issued a dispersal order, instead attacking protesters and media in an “egotistical and scaremongering” way that was “completely rogue and baseless.”AdvertisementBaker is suing L.A. County, Sheriff Alex Villanueva and multiple deputies.

Read more: Los Angeles Times »