City officials agreed to pay $550,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a nurse who alleged she was thrown to the ground by a Los Angeles police officer during a 2012 traffic stop, the woman’s attorney confirmed Wednesday.
Michelle Jordan, at the time a 34-year-old registered nurse from Sunland, was arrested in a Del Taco parking lot near Foothill Boulevard and Saluda Avenue in Tujunga around 11:15 a.m. on Aug. 21, 2012.
Police said they pulled Jordan over for using her cell phone without a hands-free device while driving. Her subsequent arrest was captured by a surveillance system at a nearby business.
Jordan got out of her car and was taken to the ground and handcuffed, police said at the time. After she was handcuffed, she was taken to the ground for a second time. The video shows one of the officers landing on top of her during the second takedown.
In photos provided by her attorney, Jordan appeared to have red contusions on her face and body.
Attorney Robert Marcereau said his client was “pleased” with the settlement, which was finalized over the summer following four months of “very contentious litigation.”
Marcereau said his client did not want to relive what happened to her by going to trial.
He acknowledged that Jordan cursed and talked back during the arrest, but said her actions did not warrant excessive force by the officers.
LAPD representatives and the City Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the settlement, but an LAPD spokesman, Officer Jack Richter, said one of the officers involved in the arrest, Christopher Hajduk, was fired for excessive use of force.
Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck also demoted the captain of the Foothill Division where Hajduk worked, saying he was “severely deficient in his response” to the arrest.
“Proper steps were not taken, including appropriate notifications and the removal of the involved officers from the field,” Beck said.
— City News Service
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