Thursday, May 26, 2016

Lawsuit Arises from 2014 Racial Incident

It took a long time but now there is a lawsuit against the university. Blog readers will recall that we reported on an incident in which a black UCLA employee was stopped in his vehicle leaving the campus: and later postings.

That stop occurred after another such stop in Westwood of a black judge who also sued:

A UCLA facilities employee arrested in 2014 by campus police is suing the department and the University of California Board of Regents, alleging that he was targeted because he is black.
Claudius Gaines' lawsuit, which alleges civil rights violations, also names as defendants Officer Brandon Young, who is white, and Officer Fabiola Leon, whose ethnicity is not mentioned in the complaint.
The suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday additionally alleges assault and battery, false imprisonment and negligence. Gaines is seeking unspecified damages.
"This lawsuit concerns the ominous subject of racial profiling being committed by members of the UCLA (campus police) against members of the African-American community who happen to travel around the Westwood campus,'' the lawsuit states.
A UCLA media relations representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment. The university previously said Gaines disobeyed the officers' requests to give them his driver's license and automobile registration.
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge, David Cunningham, was himself a previous victim of racial profiling by UCLA police, prompting the department to retrain every member of its staff on the problem and pay $500,000, according to a claim filed and settled on the judge's behalf by attorney Carl Douglas, who also represents Gaines.
According to Gaines' lawsuit, he was leaving work between 11:30 a.m. and midnight Aug. 27, 2014, to drive his truck to his Inglewood home when he was stopped. Young was driving the police car, the suit states.
"Mr. Gaines ... believes that Young pulled him over (even) though he had not broken any law or public offense, but because he looked like he didn't belong in that neighborhood,'' the suit says...

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