Police Misconduct & Prisoners' Rights

Holding the Police, Prisons, and Jails Accountable

Our firm goes the distance to expose abuses of power and obtain justice on the streets and in the prison system. Our renowned, innovative civil rights attorneys’ efforts in police misconduct and prisoners’ rights cases go back nearly three decades, and we continue to stand strong against excessive force and other abuses of power by law enforcement. Oftentimes in collaboration with public-interest organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), our attorneys have experience in high-stakes litigation, including against the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles and Orange County sheriff’s departments, the FBI, the California Department of Corrections, medical providers who provide services in jails and prisons, and cities and counties throughout California.

Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP is committed to comprehensively investigating brutality claims and other potential law enforcement misconduct cases.

We are renowned for building strong plaintiff’s cases involving the following nuanced matters:

  • Citizens subjected to beatings and serious, long-term injury at the hands of overzealous law officers and prison guards.
  • Police and prison guard misconduct and brutality motivated by racial profiling or discrimination in any form.
  • Claims of wrongful arrest or detention, illegal search and seizure, and denials of due process.
  • Illegal surveillance and other invasions of privacy that violate private citizens’ constitutional and civil rights.
  • Cover-ups and collusion to conceal the circumstances of an arrest or other evidence.
  • Police actions that infringe on First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly.

Victories in Police Misconduct and Jail Conditions Cases

Notable cases include the following:

  • Estate of Michael Lee v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (United States District Court, Eastern District of California, Case No. 2:20-cv-01161, 2021).
    $1,400,000 settlement in wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of mother and Estate of Michael Lee. Mr. Lee was entered the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation with a documented history of mental illness and suicide attempts. Once incarcerated, Mr. Lee was denied constitutionally adequate mental health care and committed suicide.
  • A.G. v. County of Los Angeles (United States District Court, Central District of California, Case No. 2:17-cv-00074, 2021).
    $3,840,000 settlement in wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of mother and minor son of 26-year old Bryan Pickett II. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies responding to Mr. Pickett’s mental health crisis entered his home, ignored his requests that they leave, and tased him in the chest for 34 seconds, killing him. Mr. Pickett was unarmed. The California Court of Appeal published a precedential decision in the preceding state court establishing new rights for non-biological children by reversing the lower court’s decision that Mr. Pickett’s non-biological son lacked standing to sue simply based only on his biology.
  • N. Smith v. City of Stockton, et al., (United States District Court, Eastern District of California, Case No. 2:15-cv-00363, 2021).
    $600,000 settlement for Plaintiff in Excessive force lawsuit brought by Nathaniel Smith for injuries suffered when Officers with the Stockton Police Department repeatedly shot him at a gas station after he raised his hands and announced he was unarmed.
  • Karla Garcia Aranda, et al. v. County of Los Angeles, et al., (United States District Court, Central District of California, Case No. 19-cv-01770, 2021).
    $400,000 settlement for minor child and his parents after Los Angeles County social workers removed child from his parents’ care and placed him in the unlicensed home of a sexual predator without conducting required background checks, resulting in child’s abuse.
  • Darrell Allen, Sr. et al v. County of San Bernardino et al. (United States District Court, Central District of California, Case No. 5:20-cv-00283, 2021).
    Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP represented the parents of a Black man killed by a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy in July 2019. Case settled for $1,600,000.
  • Erika Sepulveda v. City of Whittier, et al. (United States District Court, Central District of California, Case No. 2:17-cv-4457, 2020).
    Lawsuit filed against the City of Whittier and its police officers on behalf of family subjected to armed robbery after the officers abandoned them at a crime scene. $405,000 settlement obtained in 2020.
  • Estate of Mark Pajas, Sr., et al. v. County of Monterey, et al. (United States District Court, Northern District of California Case No. 16-cv-00945, 2019).
    Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP represented the family of Mark Pajas, Sr., who died within 24 hours of arriving at Monterey County Jail because jail staff refused him urgent medical attention. A federal jury awarded the family $1,600,000 and the case subsequently settled for $2,875,000.
  • Jacob Parenti, et al. v. County of Monterey, et al. (United States District Court, Northern District of California Case No. 14-cv-05481, 2019).
    $365,000 settlement in wrongful death lawsuit brought by minor child and mother of 33-year old Jacob Parenti for denying Mr. Parenti necessary health care, resulting in his death.
  • Zion, et al. v. County of Orange, et al. (United States District Court, Central District of California Case No. 14-cv-01134, 2019).
    Obtained verdict from jury of $360,000 in lawsuit brought by mother of 21-year old son killed by Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies for Deputies’ excessive force against son while he lay dying following the Deputies’ lawful shooting. The Ninth Circuit issued a precedential opinion holding that police who use lawful deadly force against a suspect posing an immediate threat must stop using deadly force once the suspect no longer poses a threat. The District court issued an opinion holding that pre-death pain and suffering damages are available where the death was not caused by the excessive force. (9th Circuit opinion).
  • Jasmin Salcido et al. v. City of Whittier et al. (United States District Court, Central District of California, Case No. 2:17-cv-08819, 2019).
    Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP represented the parents of a 27-year-old man experiencing a mental health crisis whom Whittier Police Department officers crushed and suffocated to death. The case settled for $1,900,000 just before trial.
  • Estate of Erika Rocha v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation et al.(United States District Court, Central District of California, Case No. EDCV 17-0869, 2019).
    Lawsuit filed on behalf of family of mentally ill woman who committed suicide while incarcerated at the California Institution for Women, after a federal court ordered prison officials to correct the mental health care deficiencies that contributed to her death. The parties reached a $1,501,500 settlement in 2019.
  • Joshua Mayfield, et al. v. Ivan Orozco, et al. (United States District Court, Eastern District, Case No. 13-cv-02499, 2019).
    Settled during trial for $2,500,000. Case brought on behalf of family of 19-year-old quadriplegic against County of Sacramento where Plaintiff attempted suicide after being beaten by jail guards. Case settled after finding that County improperly excluded African Americans from serving on the jury.
  • Heleine Tchayou, et al. v. City of Los Angeles, et al. (United States District Court, Central District of California, Case No. 16-cv-06073, 2018).
    Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP represented the family of Charly “Africa” Keunang, a mentally ill man shot to death by LAPD officers near his encampment on Skid Row. The parties reached a $1,950,000 settlement following a jury verdict finding two LAPD officers liable for excessive force.
  • Estate of Bertram Hiscock, et al. v. County of Yuba, et al. (United States District Court, Eastern District of California, Case No. 17-cv-02706, 2018).
    Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP represented the family of a mentally ill man who committed suicide while incarcerated at the Yuba County Jail after two prior suicide attempts. The parties settled the lawsuit for $1,000,000.
  • Estate of Sandra Vela, et al. v. County of Monterey, et al. (United States District Court, Northern District of California, Case No. 16-cv-02375, 2018).
    Lawsuit filed on behalf of the family of a 52-year-old woman who committed suicide after she was prematurely discharged from suicide watch and placed in a cell with known suicide hazards. The case settled for $2,850,000 after the Court granted in part Plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment.
  • Khanly Saycon, Jr. et al. v. City of Long Beach et al. (United States District Court, Central District of California, Case No. 2:16-cv-05614, 2018).
    Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP represented the family of a 39-year-old man with paranoid schizophrenia, who was shot and killed by Long Beach Police Department officers. The lawsuit settled for $2,000,000 before trial.
  • Jermaine Padilla, et al. v. California Dept. of Corrections & Rehabilitation (United States District Court, Central District, Case No. 14-cv-01118, 2017).
    Settled after jury selection for $950,000. Plaintiff suffering from mental health issues pepper sprayed and beaten by guards then left strapped down for three days without medical attention.
  • De La Trinidad v County of Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. BC 027679, 2016).
    Wrongful death settlement of $487,500 obtained on behalf of family of individual shot and killed by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

If you or a loved one have been subjected to police brutality or misconduct in a jail or prison or in the streets, please call us at (626) 775-7870 or contact us online for a free consultation with our legal team.

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