A Van Nuys teen-ager who was questioned by detectives about the ambush shooting death of a Grant High School teacher filed a $10-million lawsuit Wednesday against the city of Los Angeles, Police Chief Daryl F. Gates and several officers, alleging that he was falsely arrested.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court by Hai Waknine, 16, charges that detectives investigating the slaying Friday of teacher Hal Arthur, 60, violated Waknine's rights when they took him to a police station for questioning that afternoon without sufficient cause or evidence that he was involved in the murder.
The lawsuit was filed by the firm of Yagman & Yagman, which has often represented people who sued over allegations of civil rights, and also alleges that police denied Waknine his right to speak with an attorney.
Police declined to comment on the lawsuit, but earlier had stressed that Waknine was not a suspect, had not been arrested when questioned and had willingly spoken with detectives.
Detectives said they focused on Waknine, a former Grant student who was transferred last month after a campus fight, because several students had given his name and said he was known to possess weapons and possibly had a grudge against Arthur.