NLG LA Statement on Certification of Class Action Lawsuit

The National Lawyers Guild of Los Angeles (NLG-LA) is excited about the United States District Court’s decision to certify the classes in Black Lives Matter et. al. v. City of Los Angeles et. al. This is an incredibly important victory that recognizes the collective brutality of the Los Angeles Police Department’s response to the protests that occurred in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic murder.

The LAPD has a long history of shutting down protests and suppressing the First Amendment rights of people seeking to have their voices heard. This is an affront to democracy. After all, democracy only functions when people can be heard and have their grievances redressed. The protests following George Floyd’s tragic murder were a calling for recognition of the tragic history of police killings of unarmed Black people. People were rightfully angry. However, everyone who participated in those (and any other) protests had their ability to have their grievances heard diminished.

Further, many suffered physical harm at the hands of the LAPD. This is inexcusable. We are happy that the District Court agreed that this case could move forward as a class action suit. This decision will allow the LAPD’s victims a fair chance to be compensated for these injustices.

“This is a significant step forward for holding the LAPD accountable for their actions,” said NLG-LA Executive Director Christopher Chavis, “a society in which the police can suppress Constitutional rights without accountability is not a functioning democracy.”

NLG-LA supports the efforts of grassroots activists who are fighting for accountability and racial justice. We stand ready to assist with these efforts.

You can read the order here.

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