On February 28, 2019, officers from the Los Angeles Police Department tackled, beat, and arrested Mr. Moore in the doorway of his home in South Los Angeles. Mr. Moore was then transported to California Hospital Medical Center in downtown Los Angeles for medical care. While Mr. Moore lay strapped to a hospital gurney with his arms and legs completely immobilized and surrounded by half a dozen hospital security guards and multiple LAPD officers, LAPD Officer Justin Choi pulled a towel over Mr. Moore’s face and cupped his hands over Mr. Moore’s mouth and nose, blocking Mr. Moore’s airway. Mr. Moore cried out, “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!! I can’t breathe!!!” Officer Choi asked Mr. Moore, “Are you having fun?” as he continued suffocating Mr. Moore, covering Mr. Moore’s face for a full minute even after Mr. Moore lost consciousness. This shocking incident was recorded on another officer’s body worn camera.
Since regaining his freedom, Mr. Moore has worked with a community organization he founded prior to his arrest to organize neighborhood cleanups and provide job opportunities for at-risk adults. Mr. Moore named his organization Katie Moore Neighborhood Development after his mother, who is in her 90s.
Attorney Brian Olney stated, “Police officers are sworn to protect and serve, not torture and abuse. The officer’s abuse of authority in this case was truly sickening. This settlement sends a powerful message that the LAPD is not above the law.