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Case Name Black Lives Matter - Los Angeles v. City of Los Angeles PN-CA-0042
Docket / Court 2:20-cv-05027 ( C.D. Cal. )
Additional Docket(s) 2:21-cv-03124  [ 21-3124 ]  Central District of CA (U.S.)
2:20-cv-10258  [ 20-10258 ]  Central District of CA (U.S.)
2:21-cv-03760  [ 21-3760 ]  Central District of CA (U.S.)
2:20-cv-07241  [ 20-7241 ]  Central District of CA (U.S.)
2:21-cv-04068  [ 21-4068 ]  Central District of CA (U.S.)
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Policing
Special Collection Police Violence Protests (Spring/Summer 2020)
Case Summary
On June 5th, 2020, Black Lives Matter - Los Angeles (BLMLA) filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Judge Consuelo B. Marshall was assigned to the case. The case arose out of the nationwide protests following the police killing of George ... read more >
On June 5th, 2020, Black Lives Matter - Los Angeles (BLMLA) filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Judge Consuelo B. Marshall was assigned to the case. The case arose out of the nationwide protests following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN. The complaint alleged that, over the course of a week, the LAPD arrested approximately 2,600 people who were engaged in lawful protest.

Specifically, the complaint alleged that the LAPD violated the class members' First Amendment right to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association. The complaint also included a Fourth Amendment claim based on excessive force, namely use of batons and rubber bullets. Finally, a due process claim alleged that the police failed to respect the protesters' liberty interest when it held them for many hours, rather than citing and releasing them, as required by state law.

In addition, plaintiffs claimed that the LAPD violated the terms of a settlement agreement struck in 2000 that required the LAPD Incident Commander to make an evaluation as to the feasibility of isolating and arresting protesters behaving unlawfully before the LAPD arrested anyone at all. Second, plaintiffs alleged that the LAPD was in violation of a 2007 settlement agreement which dictated that the LAPD must facilitate protests and issue instructions via a loud speaker in the event that a protest blocks traffic, rather than attempt to disrupt the protest.

On June 21st, plaintiffs submitted an amended complaint and a first corrected amended complaint. The new complaint added several plaintiffs to the lawsuit (and eliminated one). More importantly, however, it divided the claims for relief by different classes. The first claim for relief was for injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and California state law to prohibit the LAPD from violating plaintiffs' First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights to protest. The second claim established an Arrest Class, composed of those protesters who were arrested in what plaintiffs called a violation of their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The third claim established a Direct Force Class, composed of individuals who had been shot with rubber bullets or hit with batons. Plaintiffs said this constituted violations of their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The fourth claim established an Infraction Class, made up of people who had been "charged with infractions, arrested and taken into custody and not released into the field" in a way plaintiffs said violated their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

On June 24th, the plaintiffs submitted an ex parte proposed emergency restraining order to enjoin the defendants from using projectiles (including rubber bullets) to disperse protestors; using batons against protestors; and detaining people charged solely with infractions for extended periods of time. In support of that motion, they submitted declarations by several of the plaintiffs which corroborated the allegations made in the complaint. Six days later, defendants issued a response to that motion, arguing that plaintiffs did not meet their burden for getting a temporary restraining order (TRO). Defendants claimed that the plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed on the merits, that they did not demonstrate that they would suffer irreparable harm absent the TRO, and that the balance of equities was not in their favor. On July 14, the court denied the TRO on the grounds that the plaintiffs had not shown that they would suffer irreparable harm without it. The court did not foreclose the opportunity of a preliminary injunction, however.

The parties requested to engage in alternative dispute resolution on September 3, 2020. The Court subsequently referred the case to the court mediation panel for mediation. The parties selected Richard T. Copeland to serve as mediator. The Court set a deadline of September 20, 2021 for settlement negotiations and set a jury trial for April 26, 2020.

The plaintiffs filed another motion for a TRO and a preliminary injunction on April 13, 2021. The plaintiffs sought to enjoin the Los Angeles Police Department from using 40 mm and 37 mm projectiles on protestors. The plaintiffs alleged that, despite the defendants promises to the court to refrain from using excessive force, the projectiles were continually fired upon non-violent protestors at extremely close range. The court granted the TRO on April 19. Judge Marshall founds that the plaintiffs were likely to exceed on their Fourth Amendment excessive force claims, given that the defendants fired the projectiles at a much closer range than is recommended. Additionally, Judge Marshall found that the plaintiffs were likely to suffer irreparable harm because the plaintiffs planned to continue organizing demonstrations, at which the defendants could likely repeat their use of excessive force. The court denied the defendants' subsequent motion to dissolve the TRO, but modified it to permit officers who completed required training to use projectile launchers after giving a warning to disperse. On May 10, the court granted the plaintiffs motion for preliminary injunction for the same order.

As of May 24, the case remains ongoing.

Jack Hibbard - 07/20/2020
Emily Kempa - 01/02/2021
Justin Hill - 05/24/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Aggressive behavior
Excessive force
Over/Unlawful Detention
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
State law
Defendant(s) City of Los Angeles
LAPD Police Chief
Plaintiff Description Black Lives Matter - Los Angeles activists and the class of protesters arrested by LAPD during the protests against the killing of George Floyd.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Filed 06/05/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PN-CA-0044 : Black Lives Matter - Los Angeles v. Garcetti (C.D. Cal.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
C.D. Cal.
05/10/2021
2:20-cv-05027
PN-CA-0042-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
C.D. Cal.
06/05/2020
Complaint: Class Action Injunctive Relief and Damages [ECF# 1]
PN-CA-0042-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
C.D. Cal.
06/21/2020
First Amended Complaint: Class Action; Injunctive Relief and Damages [ECF# 9]
PN-CA-0042-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
C.D. Cal.
06/24/2020
Appendix of Evidence Volume I of II In Support of Plaintiffs' Application for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 15]
PN-CA-0042-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
C.D. Cal.
06/24/2020
Appendix of Evidence Volume II of II in Support of Plaintiffs' Application for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction (Part 1/5) [ECF# 15-1]
PN-CA-0042-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
C.D. Cal.
06/24/2020
Appendix of Evidence Volume II of II in Support of Plaintiffs' Application for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction (Part 2/5) [ECF# 15-1]
PN-CA-0042-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
C.D. Cal.
06/24/2020
Appendix of Evidence Volume II of II in Support of Plaintiffs' Application for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction (Part 3/5) [ECF# 15-1]
PN-CA-0042-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
C.D. Cal.
06/24/2020
Appendix of Evidence Volume II of II in Support of Plaintiffs' Application for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction (Part 4/5) [ECF# 15-1]
PN-CA-0042-0007.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
C.D. Cal.
06/25/2020
Appendix of Evidence Volume II of II in Support of Plaintiffs' Application for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction (Part 5/5) [ECF# 15-1]
PN-CA-0042-0008.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
C.D. Cal.
07/14/2020
Order Re: Notice of Ex Parte Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 28]
PN-CA-0042-0009.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
C.D. Cal.
04/28/2021
Amended Order Re: Ruling on Plaintiffs' Application for Temporary Restraining Order [71][75] [ECF# 90]
PN-CA-0042-0010.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
C.D. Cal.
05/10/2021
Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 102]
PN-CA-0042-0011.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Marshall, Consuelo Bland (C.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0042-0009 | PN-CA-0042-0010 | PN-CA-0042-0011 | PN-CA-0042-9000
Sagar, Alka Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PN-CA-0042-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alarcon, Monique Amanda (California) show/hide docs
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Anderson-Barker, Cynthia M. (California) show/hide docs
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Battles, Lindsay B. (California) show/hide docs
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Esfandiari, Bijan (California) show/hide docs
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Esfandiary, Pedram (California) show/hide docs
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Flynn, Colleen (California) show/hide docs
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Gonzales, Jorge (California) show/hide docs
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Gonzalez, Jorge (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0042-9000
Hoffman, Paul L. (California) show/hide docs
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Litt, Barrett S. (California) show/hide docs
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McGlaze, Aiden (California) show/hide docs
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Orange, Olu K (California) show/hide docs
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Robinson, Katherine (California) show/hide docs
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Rowland, Weston (California) show/hide docs
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Seplow, Michael D. (California) show/hide docs
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Sobel, Carol A. (California) show/hide docs
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Strugar, Matthew D. (California) show/hide docs
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Washington, John Clay (California) show/hide docs
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Wisner, Robert Brent (California) show/hide docs
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Defendant's Lawyers Dermer, Gabriel Seth (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0042-9000
Plowden, Geoffrey R (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0042-9000

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