NLG Files Lawsuit Against Oakland Police

Class Action Lawsuit Asserts Constitutional Violations at Oscar Grant Demonstrations

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) is filing a major class action lawsuit against the Oakland Police Department (OPD) on Monday, June 13th, in the United States District Court. The lawsuit asserts constitutional violations stemming from the November 5, 2010, mass arrest of 150 peaceful protesters following the sentencing of Johannes Mehserle, the BART police officer who killed Oscar Grant. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief as well as monetary damages for those 150 people who were unlawfully corralled by police and incarcerated in overcrowded holding cells for up to 28 hours.

Date: Monday, June 13, 2011
Time: 10am
Where: 14th & Broadway, Oakland
Who: Named plaintiffs Daniel Spalding, Katherine Loncke, Danielle Lopez Green and Adrian Drummond-Cole; Rachel Jackson of the Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant; Attorneys Rachel Lederman, Bobbie Stein and Michael Flynn; and NLGSF Executive Director Carlos Villarreal

Download a copy of the complaint (pdf).

At each Justice for Oscar Grant demonstration, the OPD has violated its own crowd control policy. This policy was obtained as part of a 2005 settlement in an earlier case of police misconduct filed by the NLG and the American Civil LIberties Union. The NLG seeks to hold the police accountable, and to obtain compliance with the crowd control policy to protect constitutional rights and freedom of speech in Oakland.

The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter is one of the largest chapters of the National Lawyers Guild–a bar association founded in 1937, which seeks to unite the lawyers, law students, legal workers and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people, to the end that human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests. NLGSF, and the NLG national Mass Defense Committee, provide legal support for progressive demonstrations across the country and seek to preserve the right to dissent in the face of increasing political repression.