A couple who allege they were shot with projectiles in 2020 by Los Angeles police near City Hall while protesting the death of George Floyd are suing the city.
Kincy Fields and Jonetta Young brought the lawsuit Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Their allegations include civil rights and First Amendment violations, excessive force, assault and battery, negligence. They seek unspecified damages.
“The bedrock of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea … especially when it concerns freedom of assembly and the right to petition the government,” the suit states.
A representative for the City Attorney’s Office did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Fields and Young were protesting with other demonstrators on May 29, 2020, when LAPD officers began forcing Fields and others to walk in a certain direction, the suit states.
Fields and Young went to the vicinity of City Hall, where they were met by about five officers who barricaded Fields and other protesters, according to the suit.
Although they posed no threat to the officers, Fields and Young were hit with rubber bullets shot by LAPD officers, the suit alleges. The plaintiffs feared for their safety and tried to leave, but the officers chased them and continued to hit them with projectiles, the suit states.
Fields and Young were detained, arrested and booked, the suit states. Fields suffered burning and bruising and pain in one thigh, the suit states.
Fields also sustained a hip injury that temporarily prevented him from standing and still prevents him from moving the hip normally, according to the suit.
Fields and Young both were left with post-traumatic stress disorder, the suit alleges. Young also suffered physical injuries and the couple’s relationship has been negatively affected by the confrontation with police, the suit states.
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted April 20 of murder in Floyd’s May 25, 2020, death and was sentenced on June 25 to more than 22 years in prison.