A Gardena man is suing the city, alleging his civil rights were violated in 2020 when police officers shot him with a stun gun and placed their full weight on his back without provocation.
Roshawn Douglas’ Los Angeles Superior Court also alleges false imprisonment, negligence, assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He seeks unspecified compensatory damages against the city and several Gardena Police Department officers as well as punitive damages against the same officers in the suit filed Tuesday.
A representative for the Gardena City Attorney’s office could not be immediately reached for comment.
According to the suit, Douglas drove his truck out of his shared driveway on May 25, 2020, so that his neighbor could leave the premises. As he re-entered his driveway, GPD officers activated their lights and sirens and followed his truck, the suit states.
Douglas says he stayed in his truck and obeyed the officers’ orders that he put his hands on the steering wheel. The officers then told Douglas to get out of the vehicle, and as he did so, he was pulled by some of the officers in different directions, causing him to lose his balance, according to his court papers.
“At no time during the physical altercation did Mr. Douglas resist and/or combat officers,” the suit states.
One of the officers then fired a stun gun at Douglas while he had his hands up and was being restrained by another policeman, the suit alleges.
After being shot with the stun gun, Douglas fell face-down on the concrete and the officers began to punch and kick him, according to the lawsuit, which alleges he was shot again with the stun gun as two officers “placed their body weight on his back.”
Douglas was subsequently arrested although he had committed no crime, the suit says. He was taken to Memorial Hospital of Gardena and then to jail, according to the complaint.
One of the officers drove Douglas’ truck around the block and parked it on the street. The plaintiff’s vehicle was impounded and sold at auction, the suit alleges.
The plaintiff suffered both physical and emotional injuries, including embarrassment, humiliation, mental anguish, emotional distress and ongoing nightmares regarding the encounter with police, according to the suit.