Monday, November 25, 2013
An Arresting Development
An African American judge who has accused UCLA police of excessive force ignored officers' orders to stay in his car, UCLA officials said Monday. David S. Cunningham III, a former Los Angeles Police Commission president, filed a complaint against the officers after they allegedly shoved him against his car, handcuffed him and locked him in the back seat of their police cruiser." During the course of the traffic stop, police officers instructed the driver to stay inside the vehicle and returned to their patrol car to run a routine license and registration check," UCLA said in a statement released late Monday afternoon. "Despite these instructions, the driver left the vehicle – an escalating behavior that can place officers at risk."Cunningham "stood in the roadway" and refused to get back in his car, the statement said. As a result, he was temporarily handcuffed. He was released at the scene shortly after being cited for failing to wear a seat belt. UCLA said it is conducting an internal investigation and reviewing video routinely filmed from the police car. According to Cunningham’s account, he was pulled over in his Mercedes about 10 a.m. Saturday as he was in the process of buckling his seat belt after paying a parking attendant near L.A. Fitness. He was dressed in a black gym shirt and shorts. Officer Kevin Dodd asked to see his driver's license. Cunningham handed them his wallet. Then the officers requested registration and insurance. When Cunningham reached for his glove box, an officer “yelled at me not to move,” he said in the complaint. “I became irritated and told him that I need to look for the paper.” A prescription pill bottle rolled out of the glove compartment, prompting the officer to ask if he was carrying drugs. The medicine was for high blood pressure, said Cunningham's attorney, Carl Douglas. Cunningham couldn't find the paperwork in the glove compartment and told officers he thought it might be in the trunk.“When I got out of the car to search my trunk, Officer Dodd shoved me against my car, told me I was under arrest for resisting and locked me in the back seat,” Cunningham wrote in the complaint...
Here is a local TV report [may include ad]: