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Excessive Force

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 4, 2009 | Andrew Blankstein
The family of a Burbank police sergeant who took his own life last week blamed the police chief and other city officials for his death, saying he was the victim of retaliation for defending fellow officers. Neil Thomas Gunn Sr., 50, was one of a dozen current or former Burbank officers who had their records subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in connection with an FBI investigation into excessive force at the department. But Tina Gunn described her husband as a hard-working officer who cared deeply for the department and said the police brass and the union failed to support him against unfounded use-of-force allegations, effectively ruining his career and leaving him "brokenhearted."
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County sheriff's officials are revisiting the department's policy governing when and how deputies can use physical force, in light of a court ruling last year that officers can be held liable even for actions that led up to a shooting. The daughter of Shane Hayes, a mentally ill man who was shot and killed in his home by San Diego County sheriff's deputies after brandishing a knife, filed a wrongful death suit against the department. She argued that the deputies provoked the confrontation that led to the shooting.
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OPINION
September 22, 2011
Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas fulfilled the highest standards of his office by conducting a thorough yet timely investigation into a homeless man's death at the hands of Fullerton police officers. The unusual nature of the charges he has filed — it is rare for a police officer to be charged with murder in the execution of his job, as one of them was — indicates the deep level of consideration that prosecutors gave the case of Kelly Thomas, who was beaten by police in July during an altercation outside a Fullerton bus depot.
NATIONAL
April 10, 2014 | By Cindy Carcamo
Albuquerque police have used deadly force more often than necessary, resulting in a series of unjustified fatal shootings by officers, according to a damning report released Thursday by U.S. Justice Department officials. Acting Assistant Atty. Gen. Jocelyn Samuels said the Albuquerque Police Department needs a “systematic change” to address a long-ingrained culture of using deadly force. “This is no longer an acceptable way to proceed,” Samuels said. Speaking to a crowded room of reporters and community leaders in a televised news conference from Albuquerque, Samuel listed a number of recommended reforms , such as stronger oversight of the department and better police training.
NEWS
September 13, 2012 | By Ted Rall
The LAPD is deeply troubled by three videotaped incidents that record police allegedly using excessive force to subdue people. So it's hosting community meetings. Will these questions be on the agenda? ALSO: Photo gallery: Ted Rall cartoons Hey, Curiosity scientists, didn't you see 'Alien'? You win, San Francisco: Southern California stinks Follow Ted Rall on Twitter @TedRall  
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 16, 1992
If Chief Daryl Gates does not know the difference between excessive force and not enough force, he has the judgment of a 5-year-old. He should be tried for gross criminal negligence. LIZ FERNANDEZ Rancho Santa Margarita
WORLD
February 27, 2014 | By Batsheva Sobelman
JERUSALEM -- Israeli security forces use excessive force against Palestinians in the West Bank and display "callous disregard" for human life, Amnesty International said Thursday. In a report called "Trigger-Happy: Israel's Use of Excessive Force in the West Bank," the human rights organization says Israeli soldiers and police killed 45 Palestinians since 2011, nearly half of them last year. In all cases examined by the organization, the Palestinians killed did not appear to pose a direct or immediate threat to life, Amnesty said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2014 | By Joel Rubin
A jury has awarded a Los Angeles police officer $260,000 after finding Pomona police used excessive force on the young officer and unlawfully arrested him. The verdict reached Wednesday evening was a final step in Sergio Arreola's nearly two-year push to clear his name after the 2012 encounter that resulted in his being fired from the LAPD and facing a possible prison sentence. “This was about showing the officers and showing Pomona that they can't be treating others the way they treated me,” said Arreola, 27. The Times first wrote about Arreola's case last year as he was fighting to get his job back.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 3, 2014 | By Richard Winton
The UCLA Police Department has cleared two officers accused by an African American judge of using excessive force after stopping him for not wearing a seat belt. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Cunningham III, a former police commission president, filed a complaint and later a legal claim for $10 million, alleging that Officers Kevin Dodd and James Kim used unreasonable force and racial profiling in the Nov. 23 traffic stop in Westwood. But UCLA officials found that the evidence did not support the allegation after an investigation reviewed a dashboard camera recording from the officers' police cruiser.
WORLD
June 3, 2013 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Patrick J. McDonnell
WASHINGTON -- U.S. officials have “serious concerns” about reports of excessive force by Turkish police against protesters, the White House said Monday, as a country lauded as a model for democracy in the Muslim world faces its most violent street protests in decades. “The United States supports full freedom of expression and assembly, including the right to peaceful protest,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. “We believe that the vast majority of the protesters have been peaceful, law-abiding, ordinary citizens exercising their rights.” Carney's comments came as thousands of protesters filled Taksim Square in central Istanbul for a fourth consecutive day Monday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2014 | By Ruben Vives, This post had been corrected. See note below for details.
A 25-year-old woman has filed a federal lawsuit against a California Highway Patrol officer who allegedly used excessive force during a suspected DUI arrest in 2012. Standing outside the U.S. District Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles last Friday, Aloni Bonilla claimed Officer Jose A. Ramirez also violated her civil rights.  Department officials declined to comment because the litigation is ongoing, said CHP spokesman Officer Jose Barrios.  Bonilla said she was driving from her Baldwin Park home to a friend's house in Alhambra around 1:30 a.m. on March 21, 2012, when she was pulled over on the west 10 Freeway.
WORLD
February 27, 2014 | By Batsheva Sobelman
JERUSALEM -- Israeli security forces use excessive force against Palestinians in the West Bank and display "callous disregard" for human life, Amnesty International said Thursday. In a report called "Trigger-Happy: Israel's Use of Excessive Force in the West Bank," the human rights organization says Israeli soldiers and police killed 45 Palestinians since 2011, nearly half of them last year. In all cases examined by the organization, the Palestinians killed did not appear to pose a direct or immediate threat to life, Amnesty said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2014 | By Jack Leonard, Robert Faturechi and Richard Winton
Federal prosecutors announced charges Friday against two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies accused of assaulting a handcuffed inmate in a case that broadens the FBI's ongoing inquiry and raises new questions about how the Sheriff's Department has investigated deputy misconduct in the nation's largest jail system. Sheriff's officials previously rejected allegations that the deputies used excessive force despite a jail chaplain coming forward to say that he witnessed the 2009 incident and believed the deputies beat a helpless inmate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 3, 2014 | By Richard Winton
The UCLA Police Department has cleared two officers accused by an African American judge of using excessive force after stopping him for not wearing a seat belt. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Cunningham III, a former police commission president, filed a complaint and later a legal claim for $10 million, alleging that Officers Kevin Dodd and James Kim used unreasonable force and racial profiling in the Nov. 23 traffic stop in Westwood. But UCLA officials found that the evidence did not support the allegation after an investigation reviewed a dashboard camera recording from the officers' police cruiser.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 2014 | By Richard Winton, This post had been corrected. See note below for details.
A jury has found that a Los Angeles Police Department officer used excessive force in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man and awarded $750,000 in damages to the man's son. The Los Angeles County Superior Court jury decided last week that Officer Daniel Bunch used unreasonable force when he fatally shot Dontaze Storey Jr., 47, in November 2008 in front of the man's pregnant fiancee. Jurors acquitted a second officer, Oliver Malabuya. The shooting occurred after a foot pursuit Nov. 11, 2008, near 3rd Street and New Hampshire Avenue.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2014 | By Richard Winton
A federal jury found Friday that two Los Angeles police officers had not used excessive force when arresting a onetime bank and Hollywood executive whom they believed to be under the influence of drugs known as bath salts. Brian Mulligan, 54, a former Deutsche Bank vice chairman, sued the Los Angeles Police Department and two of its officers, claiming that James Nichols and John Miller had used batons to break his nose and shoulder during the May 16, 2012, encounter. After hearing three days of testimony, jurors took less than three hours to reach a verdict, finding that the officers had not violated Mulligan's federal or state civil rights or battered him. Much of the trial focused on Mulligan's mental state that night.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2014 | By Ruben Vives, This post had been corrected. See note below for details.
A 25-year-old woman has filed a federal lawsuit against a California Highway Patrol officer who allegedly used excessive force during a suspected DUI arrest in 2012. Standing outside the U.S. District Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles last Friday, Aloni Bonilla claimed Officer Jose A. Ramirez also violated her civil rights.  Department officials declined to comment because the litigation is ongoing, said CHP spokesman Officer Jose Barrios.  Bonilla said she was driving from her Baldwin Park home to a friend's house in Alhambra around 1:30 a.m. on March 21, 2012, when she was pulled over on the west 10 Freeway.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 2013
Join Times staff writer Richard Winton on Tuesday at 9 a.m. for a L.A. Now Live chat about a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge who has made claims of excessive force by the UCLA Police Department. David S. Cunningham III is not only a judge but the former president of the Los Angeles Police Commission and a onetime federal civil rights attorney. Winton reported  that Cunningham found himself handcuffed in the back of a UCLA police car on Saturday morning. Officers had pulled him over as he was driving his Mercedes out of his Westwood gym because, police said, he wasn't wearing his seat belt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2014 | By Joel Rubin
A jury has awarded a Los Angeles police officer $260,000 after finding Pomona police used excessive force on the young officer and unlawfully arrested him. The verdict reached Wednesday evening was a final step in Sergio Arreola's nearly two-year push to clear his name after the 2012 encounter that resulted in his being fired from the LAPD and facing a possible prison sentence. “This was about showing the officers and showing Pomona that they can't be treating others the way they treated me,” said Arreola, 27. The Times first wrote about Arreola's case last year as he was fighting to get his job back.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2014 | By Joel Rubin
A jury has awarded a Los Angeles police officer $260,000 after finding that Pomona police used excessive force on the young cop and unlawfully arrested him. The verdict reached Wednesday evening was a final step in a nearly two-year effort by Sergio Arreola to clear his name after the 2012 encounter that left him fired from the LAPD and facing a possible prison sentence. "This was about showing the officers and showing Pomona that they can't be treating others the way they treated me," Arreola, 27, said.
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