LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A group of transgender rights activists Tuesday announced a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department for its handling of recent protests outside Wi Spa in Koreatown.
The lawsuit stems from two separate violent clashes over the spa’s policy regarding transgender customers.READ MORE: Spirit Airlines’ Massive Flight Cancellation Debacle Enters Fourth Day
“This has to stop,” Humberto Guizar, attorney with the Justice X Legal Group, said. “We have to enforce the law against our own police officers. We’re fed up with it as our clients are fed up with it.”
Conservative groups gathered over the weekend for the second time to protest the spa allowing transgender individuals to use the appropriate locker room for their gender identity. The group was met with a number of counter-protesters.
The suit alleges LAPD officers used batons to break a journalist’s arm, shot projectiles at fleeing protesters at close range and allowed conservative protesters to duck behind police lines for protection.
“What we saw at the Wi Spa protests were atrocious human rights violations committed by LAPD,” attorney Christian Contreras said.READ MORE: 3 Killed, 2 Injured In Fiery Wreck In Burbank; Street Racing May Be To Blame
The lawsuit also questions officers’ use of less-lethal projectiles against protesters despite a recent federal court order restricting their use.
In videos posted to social media from the protest, a group of LAPD officers appear to use batons on counter-protesters who were already on the ground and another LAPD officer appears to fire a less-lethal round at a woman standing on the sidewalk with her hands in the air.
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Woman was just shot by a rubber bullet as she asked to please put down your guns— pic.twitter.com/YkZUjW007l
— waterspider (@waterspider__) July 17, 2021
LAPD said it does not comment on pending litigation, however, Chief Michel Moore said at least one of the incidents involved someone believed to have thrown a bottle at officers at Tuesday’s Police Commission meeting.