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POINTE 705 FILES $7.6M CLAIM DUE TO TREATMENT BY POLICE

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On January 22, 2004, the owners of Pointe 705 filed a $7,600,000.00 claim against the City of Hermosa Beach.    There was a long story about the claim in the Easy Reader newspaper of March 18.

The following is the cover sheet of the claim plus the full text of Attachments B and C.  Warning:  contains profanity and ethnic slurs.

 

 

Editor's note:  The following is the full text of Attachments B and C to Pointe 705's claim filed Jan. 22, 2004.  The text below has been OCR'd from a photocopy of the filed original obtained from the office of the Hermosa Beach City Clerk.  The text presented below is an exact word-for-word duplicate of the text of the original (and as a result contains profanity and ethnic slurs), except that some confidential identifying information has been replaced by "[xxx]" and the indication "[sic]" (Webster's:  "...that an expression, spelling, or the like, exactly reproduces the original.") has been inserted where appropriate.

 

CITY OF HERMOSA BEACH CLAIM FORM

 

ATTACHMENT B

 

QUESTION:               How did damage/loss/injury occur?

 

ANSWER:                  The first incident occurred on September 20, 2003. Defendant Alkadis and another officer employed by Defendant HBPD came into the club owned by Plaintiffs (Point 705). The officers spoke with Plaintiff Cecil Roberts, Jr, who identified himself as the new owner, and asked him if HBPD officers would continue to receive food discounts as they had under the previous ownership. The officers then left.

Later that night, Defendants Alkadis and Averill came to the club to speak with Plaintiff Cecil Jr. about a pool of soapy water that had formed down the hill from Point 705. A promoter was hosting a foam party at the club and the bag holding the water broke causing the water to run out onto the street and down the hill. Although the promoter was in the process of cleaning up the water, Defendants threatened to write a ticket for every car which squealed as a result of the water.

When Defendants asked to see Plaintiff Cecil Jr.’s identification, he furnished his California Drivers License, #[xxxxxxxx], and informed them that, his uncle, Plaintiff Marvin Chul Hur, was the only owner who’s [sic] name appeared on the ABC liquor license.

Defendants informed Plaintiff Cecil Jr. that he would be liable for the water on the street even though the promoter took full responsibility. Defendants also threatened to charge him with a felony carrying fines of "at least $100,000.00.” Defendant Averill repeatedly stated, “we don’t like people like you in my town”. “we are going to close you down,” and “I am going to do everything to shut you down.”

At approximately 1:51 a.m., nearly three hours after arriving on the scene, Defendant Averill issued a ticket to Plaintiff Cecil Jr. for illegal discharge of waste. Averill only cited the promoters for failure to carry proper documentation for the foam machine.

At approximately 2:50 a.m., Defendants falsely arrested Plaintiff Cecil Jr. for false identification stemming from his earlier identification of himself as an owner. Plaintiff Cecil Jr. was not Mirandized upon arrest, his request to speak with an attorney was declined, and he was never informed of the reason for his arrest. Defendant Averill placed Plaintiff Cecil Jr. in the back of his squad car despite the fact that the police station was directly across the street.

At the time of this incident, Plaintiff Cecil Jr. had a seven and one-half centimeter tumor on his brain that caused him to have severe seizures when his blood pressure was at an elevated level. Plaintiff Cecil Sr. informed Defendants of Plaintiff Cecil Jr.’s condition and asked them to have a paramedic check on him because he was hunched over in the back of the squad car. This request was denied. Plaintiff Cecil Sr. request to go check himself was also denied.

Plaintiff Cecil Jr., in fact, had a seizure while sitting in the squad car and was awakened by Defendant Averill poking him in the chest with either an object or his fingers and pulling him out of the car. The next day, Plaintiff Cecil Jr. had a bruise in that area. Additionally, while in custody, Sergeant Averill repeatedly denied medical attention to Plaintiff Cecil Jr. despite knowledge of his existing medical condition.

Plaintiff Cecil Jr. never falsely identified himself; he presented his true California Driver’s License and his family does, in fact, own the establishment in question. On October 18, 2003, the charges were presented to and dropped by the District Attorney. Notice was immediately given to the Defendant Hermosa Beach Police Department, who were responsible for forwarding the dismissal to Plaintiffs. Instead, Defendants waited until the day of the hearing to mail the notice to Plaintiff Cecil Jr.’s home address in West Hills, CA. Relying on the information on the citation, Plaintiffs believed that Cecil Jr. was scheduled to appear in court and retained a lawyer to represent him in the matter. Obviously, the attorney could not find the matter on any calendar.

After this incident, Defendants have constantly watched Plaintiffs. They park their police vehicles directly across the street in front of the Point 705. Additionally, Defendants have routinely stopped vehicles directly in front of Point 705 and/or have had vehicles pull behind the club and into Plaintiffs private parking garage. This harassment was done, and continues, to intimidate Plaintiffs and the scare the patrons inside. Any onlooker would think that police activity was constantly occurring at the club.

The next incident occurred on October 26, 2003. The promoter hosted a Hip Hop party and most of the patrons were African American. An intoxicated patron was standing on the street in front of Point 705 trying to hail a cab. Plaintiff Grace Roberts noticed him and immediately told her security to get the man out of the street and help him get a cab. When the patron’s friends saw the man, they also attempted to get him out of the street. On his own, the man fell over pulling his friends and security to the ground with him. As soon as they got up, Defendant Averill drove his car up to the front of the club. At that time, Plaintiff Grace Roberts tried to explain to Defendant Averill that the situation was under control and the patron was on his way home. Defendant Averill ignored her and instead began yelling and screaming at her saying that he could smell marijuana “pouring from the club.” Plaintiff Grace Roberts responded by telling him that there was no marijuana in the club and that he could go in and check for himself.

Defendant Averill got on the dispatch to call for additional officers and informed Plaintiff Grace Roberts that he was going to “shut this place down.” He told Plaintiff Grace that ever since she took over, the place was “$hit.” Defendant Averill advised Grace to get rid of her patrons saying, “I don’t like these people...get rid of them...get rid of these troubles...,” referring to African Americans. Within minutes, five police cars arrived.

Defendants entered Point 705 and demanded to know the number of patrons inside because the club “looked overcrowded.” They found no violation. Plaintiff Cecil, Sr. asked Defendants, “why are you here?” and Defendant Averill responded that he was there “to correct their attitudes.” He again stated that this was his town and he could slap them with fines for a number of things. Defendant Averill told patrons that if they did not shut up, they would be arrested. HBPD officers searched Point 705 and did not smell or find any marijuana.

Averill loudly instructed Plaintiff Grace Roberts to turn down the music saying, “do it right now or I’m going to write you up!” He continued, saying “I don’t like you.” Plaintiff Grace Roberts told Defendant Averill that he was being prejudiced and he responded that he hears that “$hit” all of the time and it was not going to fly. Defendant Averill repeatedly patronized Plaintiff Grace Roberts when she tried to talk. Defendant Averill further told Plaintiff Grace Roberts that he did not have to be nice or courteous because he was there to enforce the laws that she breaks. Defendant Averill told Plaintiff Grace Roberts that “the city council hates bars and is going to shut them down one by one,” and then said that he was going to “watch every move she made and the next time, he would shut the club down for good.”

On October 30, 2003, Plaintiffs met with Hermosa Beach Police Chief Michael Lavin, Captain Thomas Eckert, and Lieutenant Lance Jaakola to discuss the above stated incidents. At this meeting, each was put on notice of the behavior of their subordinates. Captain Eckert repeatedly assured Plaintiffs that there was “no conspiracy” involved, and that the behavior of their subordinates was a product their experiences with other club owners who play “shell games.” Chief Lavin promised to investigate these incidents and guaranteed that such incidents would not occur in the future.

The latest incident occurred on December 21, 2003. The promoter hosted a birthday party where the majority of the patrons were African American. At approximately 10pm, seven (7) police officers came to Point 705 asking to walk through because they “heard Point 705 has really good music.” The officers parked their vehicles in the middle of the street directly outside of the front of the club with their lights on.

Later that night, Plaintiff Cecil Jr. arrived at the club. As soon as he stepped outside of the club to speak with an employee, he was approached by HBPD officers. They told him that they had received complaints of loud music and wanted to go in to check it out. Plaintiff Cecil, Jr. told them that the event was a private party closed to the public and the building was locked. He further told the officers that he would tell the DJ to lower the volume. Before the officers left, one opened up a small notebook filled with paper to make notes. Both Plaintiff Cecil and an employee noticed that Plaintiff Cecil Jr’s business card was stapled to the inside of the notebook.

That night, a fight broke out in the club. The manager called the police to assist in getting people out of the club. Although the station is across the street, the police did not arrive immediately. By the time police arrived, the fight was over and 20-25 people were standing outside and/or walking to their cars.

Plaintiff Cecil Jr. recognized Defendant Phillips and approached him to tell him what was going on and point out which persons were responsible. Defendant Phillips responded saying “get the fu#k out of my face” and [sic] “get the fu#k out of my face.” “What part of stand back don’t you understand?” Defendant Phillips then pushed Plaintiff Cecil Jr. knocking the wind out of him. A witness (Security guard Cyrus Keshmiri) stated that the officer “drew his baton and struck Plaintiff Cecil Jr. in the chest very forcefully.” When Plaintiff Cecil Jr. responded asking the officer “what is your problem?”, Defendant Phillips grabbed Plaintiff Cecil Jr.’s arm.

Meanwhile, another officer motioned for Plaintiff Cecil Jr. to come to him and tell him what was going on. Plaintiff Cecil Jr. asked what was Defendant Phillips’ problem and he told Plaintiff Cecil Jr. that it was “his fault because he brought these people to this town.”

Plaintiff Cecil Jr. went back inside the club fearful after being further assaulted by Defendant Phillips. His blood pressure went up and he immediately had to take 400mg of Dilantin. At this point, someone called “911” to request help for Plaintiff Cecil Jr., but instead of the fire department or paramedics, more police officers arrived. Shortly after going back into the club, Cecil heard that there might be another fight in the parking lot. When he got outside, he saw Plaintiff Grace Roberts yelling at the HBPD police officers. Six HBPD police officers grabbed a young African American woman, threw her to the ground, and hit her with batons and kicked her with their feet while she was on the ground. They handcuffed her and put her in the squad car, but she was later released.

Plaintiff Grace Roberts witnessed the attack and went outside to tell the officers to stop. She yelled to them, “stop, you are going to kill her.” Defendant Alkadis approached Plaintiff Grace Roberts and told her that she “knows what the problem is”, “you bring these ni##ers here”, “you bring these people to our town.”

In light of what already happened and his recent surgery, Plaintiff Cecil Jr. was scared to go into the parking garage where the HBPD officers were. However, when he saw Defendant Alkadis yelling at and in the face of Plaintiff Grace Roberts, he went over to try to get his mom back inside of Point 705.

Plaintiff Cecil Jr. asked Defendant Alkadis what the problem was and he said “you brought these people to this town.” He told Plaintiffs Cecil Jr. and Grace Roberts that they were “irresponsible” and they “don’t know how to run this place” and then called them “ni##er lovers”. When Plaintiff Cecil Jr. told Defendant Alkadis that he could not talk to them like that, Defendant Alkadis responded “what are you going to do about it?” “I don’t care what happened to you,” “I don’t care about your condition,” “you want me to arrest you again?”

Plaintiff Grace Roberts, fearing for Plaintiff Cecil Jr.’s safety, began pulled him back towards Point 705. Defendant Alkadis continued to provoke Cecil, saying “turn around and walk away”, “what are you going to do?” In fact, several officers tried to hold Defendant Alkadis back. A witness stated that the body language, tone and things said by the HBPD officers seemed more like a gang calling some one out for a fight.

Cecil went to the emergency room where he was diagnosed as having a chest wall contusion caused by a bruise on his chest.

That same night, someone knocked over a container holding used oil that was left outside for disposal by another business owner. The police told that owner that Point 705 had a “riot” and “gang fight," saying that they were responsible for the oil spill. Defendant further spread rumors about the “riot” throughout the community and someone reported it to Plaintiff’s landlord.

Chief Lavin, Captain Eckert and Lieutenant Jaakola were put on notice of the behavior of their subordinate officers and their inaction and failure to properly reprimand them constituted a ratification of said behavior.
 

 

CITY OF HERMOSA BEACH CLAIM FORM
 

ATTACHMENT C

 

QUESTION:              What particular act or omission do you claim caused the damage/loss/injury?

 

ANSWER:                   False Arrest/False Imprisonment

                                    Abuse of Process

                                    Malicious Prosecution

                                    Assault/Battery

                                    Negligence

                                    Failure to Furnish Medical Care

                                    Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

                                    Interference with Business Relations

                                    Defamation

                                    Invasion of Privacy

                                    State and Federal Civil Rights Violations

 

[End]


 


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