USC Students Settle Excessive Force Lawsuit for $450K

In June, a jury found that some LAPD officers used excessive force against the students.

The city of Los Angeles settled a lawsuit with a group of black students from the University of Southern California who accused LAPD officers of using excessive force and making false arrests during an incident three years ago.

The Los Angeles City Council approved the settlement Aug. 24 with six students who were present during the LAPD’s raid of an off campus party on May 4, 2013.

In June a jury determined that some of the officers used excessive force, acted with malice and did not have probable cause for an arrest. The students also accused the department of assault and battery and racial bias because officers allowed a party with predominantly white students to continue across the street.

Officers arrived at the house in riot gear around 2 a.m. after a neighbor called to complain about the noise. LAPD Captain Andrew Neiman told the Los Angeles Times that “people were throwing things at police, so we donned protective gear.” One student in the lawsuit claimed he was tackled to the ground and arrested for taking a video of the officers.

RELATED: The Militarization of Police in America: Fact or Fiction?

In total, six arrests were made. Two students were treated for “minor abrasions” after their arrests and one officer was injured.

LAPD Officer John Carlyle was found to have used excessive force, to have acted with malice and to have made and arrest without probable cause. Two other officers, Sgts. Boris Washington and Brandon Rockett, were found to have acted with malice and used excessive force. Following those verdicts, the city agreed to settle the case.

The incident sparked a student sit in after accounts of the arrests were posted on social media. The LAPD launched an internal investigation but defended the actions of its officers.

Neither side commented on the settlement.

Read Next: Dallas College Police Chief Outlines Path of Killer

If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century

This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!

Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety Conference promo