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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Pasadena : Police Critic Files Claim

August 14, 1986

Community activist Michael Zinzun has filed a $6.9-million claim against the city, contending that he was permanently blinded in one eye during a June confrontation between police and residents of a low-income housing project.

Zinzun, the Peace and Freedom Party candidate for the 55th Assembly district, is a longtime critic of police and heads the Coalition of Police Abuse in Los Angeles.

The June incident involved a violent confrontation between residents of the Community Arms housing project in northwest Pasadena and police, who were attempting to arrest a burglary suspect. Residents say that police officers were beating the suspect. Zinzun said he was attacked by officers as he attempted to leave the fracas.

The National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People and the Urban League have joined Zinzun's high-profile campaign for disciplinary action against the officers involved in the confrontation.

The city has named an Oakland attorney to head an independent investigation of the incident and to recommend whether charges should be filed against those involved in the fracas.

Police, meanwhile, have said that Zinzun attacked the officers and damaged his eye when he fell on the sidewalk.

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