Protesters from the Occupy LA movement are suing the city of Los Angeles for violations to their civil rights. The suit is being brought by several members of the group detained during protests in November of 2011.
Occupy Los Angeles staged an eight-week-long encampment at City Hall in tandem with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Both groups sought to protest the United States’ “bailouts for Wall Street and foreclosures for Main Street.” Police responded by performing a sweep that cleared the area of nearly 300 demonstrators.
According to NBC News, five of the protestors have filed a class action lawsuit against Los Angeles city. The suit “represents 292 people detained by officers in the raid.” The plaintiffs claim that certain civil rights were violated while in police custody.
The complaint alleges that, while spending hours in police transport and custody, detainees were denied both food and water. Court documents also allege that some were denied access to a restroom, forcing them to urinate or defecate on themselves.
While three of the plaintiffs were officially associated with the Occupy LA organization, two non-members are also involved in the litigation. One, a videographer filming the police encounter, was arrested despite complying with police requests to clear the area. According to court documents, another complainant is a reporter who chose to remain during the arrests.
PressTV reports that initially city officials had “publicly welcomed” the Occupy activists. Two months into the protest police raided the encampment in what the protestors claim was “an unlawful violation of constitutional rights of free speech and assembly.”
Along with the lawsuit, protestors have filed formal police brutality complaints with the city and asked for an extensive investigation that would bring the United Nations into the matter.
Do you agree with Occupy LA’s decision to sue the city of Los Angeles for civil rights violations?