Blinded Security Guard Claims Excessive Force in Lawsuit Against Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

LOS ANGELES, CALIF., Oct. 26, 2023A security guard was left blind in one eye following a violent arrest by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies outside a popular Inglewood hookah lounge he was assigned to protect, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed Wednesday.

Blake Anderson, 25, was escorting a woman to her car about 1:15 a.m. on Oct. 16, 2022, when an LASCD cruiser rolled into the Good Batch Hookah Lounge parking lot. A deputy hopped out and approached Anderson from his right side, according to the lawsuit.

Previous injuries had left Anderson with hearing loss in his right ear and a ruptured right eye, which was healing and beginning to recover sight with blurry images and light. According to the lawsuit, the officer approached Anderson from his right side, grabbed him, and slammed him into a window with no probable cause.

A bystander’s video of the brutal arrest shows a second deputy joining the first to put Anderson in a chokehold while the first deputy punches him as they pull him to the ground.

The deputies slammed Anderson’s head into the ground, hit him with a gun, pressed it to the back of his head, threatened to shoot him and used racial epithets during the arrest, according to the lawsuit. He lost all sight in his right eye upon regaining consciousness after his head was slammed into the ground, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit accuses LACSD and the as-yet unidentified deputies of excessive force, unreasonable search and seizure, and violating the Long Beach man’s civil rights.

In addition, the lawsuit accuses the department and deputies of denying Anderson’s right to adequate medical care. Following his arrest, Anderson was taken to Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, where he wasn’t told of his treatment plan, which was only shared with LACSD deputies, who decided to take him to jail, the lawsuit states.

As it turns out, the physicians believed Anderson needed more extensive medical care and should have remained at the hospital, the lawsuit states. Anderson suffered several hematomas around his head, nerve damage to his legs and arms, and a dislocated shoulder in addition to his eye injury.

“These Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies jumped Blake Anderson like they were gang members, brutally beating him without giving him any chance to comply,” said civil rights attorney V. James DeSimone. “Blake was working to support his family and now his injuries are preventing him from working.

“The video not only shows the deputy placing a gun to Mr. Anderson’s head but also intentionally and forcefully slamming his head into the store window and sidewalk with an alarming amount of force,” DeSimone said. “This incident is a clear indicator that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is in need of reform to prevent the escalation of violence where none is warranted.”

V. James DeSimone Law and co-counsels, civil rights attorneys Ben Crump and Jasmine Mines, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Los Angeles; Blake Anderson v. County of Los Angeles, Sheriff Alejandro Villanueva, et al, Case 2:23-cv-09044 (Oct. 26, 2023).

Los Angeles civil rights attorney V. James DeSimone has dedicated his 36-year law career to providing vigorous and ethical representation to achieve justice for those whose civil and constitutional rights are violated.

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