LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A man who claims he was roughed up by Los Angeles police for using video last spring to capture officers as they allegedly harassed protesting bicyclists on Hollywood has filed a lawsuit against the city.
Manuel Gallegos claims he was riding east with other members of “Critical Mass,” an activist bicycling group that organizes mass rides that disrupt motor traffic, the night of last May 28, when he stopped to shoot a video on his cell phone after seeing officers pull a boy off his bicycle near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.READ MORE: Firefighters Battling Commercial Building Fire In South El Monte
About 400 bicyclists rode down Hollywood Boulevard to protest the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
According to his lawsuit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, shortly after recording an officer allegedly kicking a cyclist’s tire, Gallegos was “chased down by LAPD officers, who tackled him, dragged him off his bicycle and proceeded to beat and kick him.”READ MORE: Driver Involved In South LA Crash Shot And Killed Minutes After Shooting Just Blocks Away
One officer stomped on his phone “in what is believed to be an attempt to destroy evidence of the unlawful conduct of the LAPD officers,” according to the complaint, which alleges civil rights violations, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery and negligence.
Gallegos was held by officers for 45 minutes and issued a citation alleging “false and fabricated” traffic violations, according to the suit. He seeks unspecified damages.
An LAPD spokesman today said the department had no comment on the suit.MORE NEWS: LA City Council Votes to Suspend Mark Ridley-Thomas Following Corruption Charges
Earlier, police said they were at the scene to cite bicyclists who disobeyed traffic signals — members of Critical Mass have been known to stop in intersections, get off their bikes and twirl them above their heads.
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