Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 10:32 a.m.
Security footage of an officer stepping on Dorian Brooks
A lawsuit filed March 26 alleges that Long Beach police conducting a raid on a medical marijuana dispensary last year brutalized an employee. The Weekly first reported on the June 19, 2012 incident, last July, noting that the employee, Dorian Brooks, a young African-American with no prior arrests or convictions on his record, could be seen in security footage lying on the ground posing no visible threat when an officer steps on his back and neck. The footage also shows officers trying to destroy a security camera afterwards.
According to the complaint, when Brooks cried out in pain from the full weight of the cop standing on his neck, officers participating in the raid roughly handcuffed him and said, "you're a black drug dealer, you should be used to this."
When officers battered down the camera in an apparent attempt to destroy evidence of their behavior, the lawsuit claims, debris fell on Brooks, who again cried out in pain, at which point, an officer allegedly stated, "Shut up you dumb nigger."
The lawsuit states that officers refused to loosen handcuffs on Brooks, and that officers made racially derogatory and otherwise insensitive remarks to two overweight Latino employees of the dispensary, but did loosen handcuffs of two white workers. Brooks began to lose sensation in his hands, the lawsuit claims, and his repeated requests for medical attention were ignored.
Unfortunately for the police, the entire incident was being filmed remotely, so the destruction of the on-scene camera failed to destroy the footage of Brooks being stepped on or an officer knocking down a camera. However, the footage contains no audio supporting the lawsuit's allegations that officers made racial comments, and while the lawsuit does name several officers, (black, white and Latino) who participated in the raid, it does not specify which officer allegedly uttered racist remarks.
Matthew Pappas, the lawyer representing Brooks in his lawsuit against the police originally filed a claim against the city in July of last year. On Feb. 7, the city rejected the claim. The lawsuit requests compensation for Brooks' medical expenses as well as unspecified damages, as well as an injunction against the police which would prevent them from further actions targeting medical marijuana patients in Long Beach.
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