LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An 18-year-old woman who says she was “manhandled” by an LAPD sergeant after being asked to take her feet down on a Metro train has filed a lawsuit, her attorney announced Monday.
Bethany Nava told reporters at a news conference with attorney Michael Carrillo that a legal claim was filed against the city on Friday, seeking unspecified damages. The claim is a precursor to a lawsuit.
“I’m a young girl,” said Nava. “I’ve always looked to the police as my protectors, as somebody who could keep me safe. Now I can say that I’m deeply afraid of him. I’m afraid to get on the Metro because I might see him and I don’t know what he’ll do to me if he sees me again.”
Police later told CBS2 that Nava, who was cited and later released, was being loud and boisterous on the train and had violated the disorderly conduct code under Metro rules.
Carrillo says Nava will ultimately “be proven innocent of this bogus infraction for which she has been cited”.
When she refused, the unidentified officer was seen forcibly removing the 18-year-old Nava from her seat and taking her by her arm off the train.
“I am extremely disappointed, our riders deserve better,” Metro CEO Phil Washington said in a statement. “We want the Metro system to be a safe environment for everyone. I expect more from our law enforcement partners. This incident is still under investigation, but I want to be clear: this is not the kind of policing I want on our system.”
Mayor Garcetti also commented on the situation, saying body cameras on the officers will help shed more light on the incident.
“My expectation of the MTA….. is that there will be courtesy from everyone. I expect that from the individuals who ride – I expect that from law enforcement,” Garcetti said. “I know MTA and LAPD has launched an investigation. I also know that videos sometimes tell one picture. We’ll have the videos that officers have – as well as the videos that were made.”