Laura Montilla, a recent USC graduate, speaks publicly about the inhumane treatment by the very people who were supposed to protect her.
LOS ANGELES (June 22, 2020) — Laura Montilla, who captured the world’s attention with her description of the LAPD inflicting torture on her and other women after they were arrested for nothing more than a curfew violation, filed a Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit today against the Los Angeles Police Department, alleging violations of her Federal and State Constitutional Rights.
On Monday, June 22, 2020, at 11:30 a.m., Montilla and civil rights lawyer Jim DeSimone will hold a press conference in front of LAPD headquarters, at Parker Center, 100 West 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Montilla will describe in vivid detail the excessively cruel treatment she experienced by the LAPD in direct retaliation for peaceful protesters exercising their constitutional rights. DeSimone will discuss the civil rights lawsuit, Montilla vs. Los Angeles Police Department (Case No. xxxxxxx), against the LAPD filed Monday morning, June 23, in United States Federal Court.
Like hundreds of thousands of people in Los Angeles and throughout California, on Monday, June 1, 2020, Montilla (age 22), was peacefully protesting the death of George Floyd and countless others at the hands of law enforcement and in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Montilla had no intention of being arrested and sought to comply with the hastily changed and unlawful curfew imposed on the people of Los Angeles who were exercising their First Amendment Right to free speech and assemble peacefully.
With the sudden change of curfew announced, the LAPD, through heavy handed police presence and tactics, cut off all avenues of exiting the downtown protest, ensnaring Montilla and others in a forced arrest.
The lawsuit alleges, LAPD officers “so tightly handcuffed Montilla in zip ties that she lost feeling in her right hand, had abrasions and a bruise on her wrist lasting days after her arrest, and caused damage to her arm so extreme that she was unable to use her right hand to sign a citation after her five-hour detainment.”
“The LAPD inflicted pain and torture on people who were exercising their First Amendment Right to peaceably assemble,” said attorney V. James DeSimone. “We would not allow a dog to be kept alone in a cage in a vehicle for hours with their paws bound together, why would we accept this for a human being?”At the urging of friends and family, Montilla documented her experience with an Instagram post: https://www.instagram.com/tiaratortilla/ The post went viral, reaching more than 400,000 people and gathering close to 19,000 comments.
Montilla added, “What struck me was the utter disdain and mockery the officers treated us with. It was as if we were not even human beings. By no mean did we experience the level of brutality the Black community has faced and faces daily, but it was inhumane and torturous nonetheless.”
DeSimone and Montilla are committed to taking this case to trial and have a jury determine the amount of fair compensation for the violation of her constitutional rights and brutal application of unnecessarily tight handcuffs and the deliberate decision to inflict pain by not removing those handcuffs for five hours.
At V. James DeSimone Law, our Los Angeles employment law and civil rights attorneys are committed to justice. For more than 30 years, we have been focused on representing individuals whose employee or civil rights have been violated. We believe no one should be a victim of such mistreatment, and passionately fight for the individuals who have been. Our team prides itself on being the tenacious advocates these individuals can rely on to pursue justice on their behalf. Jim DeSimone is an award-winning attorney who is recognized as one of the top civil rights lawyers in the State of California.