LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A Los Angeles family on Thursday filed a $17 million lawsuit against the L.A. Dodgers alleging they were racially profiled and assaulted by security during a playoff game last October.
The lawsuit, filed in L.A. County Superior Court, claims Dodgers security targeted the Verdin family because they are Latino.
A CBSLA camera captured a portion of the confrontation on Oct. 9, 2019, after the Dodgers were eliminated from the National League Division Series in a Game 5 loss to the Washington Nationals. The video showed several team security members chasing down a man and swarming him as he is pulled into some bushes.
The family claims they were alerting security to a rowdy fan, but instead, they themselves were kicked and punched, the suit claims.
The family was leaving the stadium and near an exit when, according to the lawsuit, they were “accosted” and “battered” by security guards who called them “gang bangers, thugs and homies.”
Jamie Verdin, who suffered a broken nose, says team personnel tried to blame her injuries on another one of her family members.
“He said, ‘do you know who hit you?'” 18-year-old Jamie Verdin told reporters at a news conference Thursday. “And I said, ‘no, there was too much chaos going on, I really didn’t see, so I really didn’t know who exactly did it.’ And they said, ‘your cousin did it.'”
Furthermore, another member of the family was placed in a chokehold, the suit alleges.
None of the Verdins are gang members and they were subjected to racial profiling even though more than half of fans who attend Dodger games are Latinos, according to the plaintiffs.
26-year-old Rigoberto Verdin Jr. claims one guard held a knee on his neck while he was on the ground, making it hard for him to breathe.
“I can’t breathe,” Verdin Jr. shouted as he was subsequently struck on the body and head, the plaintiffs allege.
His father, 48-year-old Rigoberto Verdin Sr., suffered injuries to one hand and arm after being tackled to the ground, according to the plaintiffs.
Verdin Jr. and his brother, 24-year-old David Verdin, were arrested, but not charged, according to the court papers.
“I was just in shock the whole time, it was unexpected, out of nowhere, and I was getting hit, I don’t know, it all happened to quickly,” David Verdin said Thursday.
The lawsuit is demanding $7 for false arrest, imprisonment and a violation of civil rights, and another $10 million in punitive damages.
The Dodgers have not commented on the lawsuit.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)