A 23-year-old filmmaker sued the city of Los Angeles and his uncle Tuesday, alleging the Los Angeles Police Department officer ordered his nephew shot with projectiles during a downtown protest days after the death of George Floyd.
A. Jamal Shakir Jr.’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against the city and LAPD Officer Eric Anderson alleges civil rights violations, assault and battery, false imprisonment and negligence. He seeks unspecified compensatory damages against the city and punitive damages against Anderson.
Shakir spoke at a news conference announcing his suit outside LAPD headquarters.
“The irony of this entire story is just that I’ve spent my entire life doing everything to prevent being a statistic of the criminal justice system or being a victim of the police brutality force just due to the fact of my circumstances of my mother and father being incarcerated at an early age,” he said. “To be able to do such a thing despite it being your family, your blood or your own people is something that is tremendously affecting the entire community.”
A representative for the City Attorney’s Office could not be reached for comment, and an LAPD representative said the department does not comment on pending litigation.
“`Bluer Than Blood’ would be the million-dollar title of this tragic tale if it were ever turned into a movie,” the suit states. “This lawsuit demonstrates the heart-rending extent to which the current warrior mentality permeates the Los Angeles Police Department, threatening to destroy a Black family to its core from within.”
Anderson “turned his trained wrath against a member of his own family, leaving a promising young entrepreneur, his own blood, scarred and reeling in the wake of his malicious attack,” according to the suit, which further alleges that Shakir’s uncle “maliciously punished his own blood for merely calling him out against others protesting the tragic death of (Floyd) an unarmed Black man.”
Shakir was among hundreds of people peacefully protesting Floyd’s death between 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. last May 29 near Fourth and Spring streets when he saw officers forming a skirmish line extending across Spring Street from one curb across to the other, according to his court papers. Floyd had died at the hands of Minneapolis police four days earlier.
Shakir walked between the officers and the protesters, encouraging the LAPD members “to drop down their arms and join the protesters,” including a man who he recognized as his uncle, the suit says. Anderson was directing other officers to fire projectiles at specific protesters, prompting the plaintiff to tell him “that one of their ancestors would be `turning over in her grave’ were she to see him at that moment,” the suit alleges.
Suddenly, Anderson motioned his hand in Shakir’s direction and told another police officer to shoot the plaintiff, and ” Shakir screams out in agony as the projectile damages his right hand,” the suit alleges.
Shakir dropped one of two cellphones he was holding to record the events, and when he reached down to pick up the device, he was shot in his buttocks with another projectile, the suit says.
“Terrified and fearful of further attacks, Mr. Shakir picks up his phone and begins running away from the officers, zigzagging as he runs hoping to avoid being shot again,” the suit states.
Shakir went to his nearby apartment, where he was met by friends who took him to a hospital, according to his court papers, which say that police had an unwarranted fear that he “presented a serious threat to someone’s safety.”