Plaintiffs Contend Police In-Car Video Of Traffic Stop Is An Edited Version

posted by City News Service - 

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The women who filed a lawsuit against the Pasadena Police Department claiming they were sexually assaulted by two officers during a traffic stop said today the in-car video of the stop released by the department is an edited version, according to their attorney.

“Our clients contend that the police dash-cam video posted to the City of Pasadena's website is an edited version that does not show the full extent of the officers' search activity, actions, etc,” attorney Dakar Diourbel said. “Also, corroborating evidence, such as the police unit's `call history' and any police body-cam footage, has not been produced to date.

“Furthermore, this version of the video does not contain many of the indications of an authentic police, dash-cam video such as time/date stamp, ambient audio, dialogue from the officers, voices of the subjects of the traffic stop, noise, police sirens, etc.” Diourbel said. “Thus, we look forward to viewing a copy of the original police dash-cam video from this encounter.”

Said acting Pasadena Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian: “The attempt by attorney Dakar Diourbel to discredit a police vehicle video of a traffic stop from May 2, 2016 is baseless. The only modification of video of the incident was the intentional blurring of the license plate number of the vehicle, done only to protect the involved individuals.

“Because the incident occurred in 2016, it was prior to the implementation of body-worn cameras on Pasadena police officers," Derderdian said. “The City of Pasadena stands by the truth.”

The Pasadena Police Department on Tuesday released the in-car video from the traffic stop that led to a woman and her adult daughter to sue the city and two police officers for allegedly sexually assaulting them, with the city insisting the suit is baseless and unsubstantiated.

“The claims on which the lawsuit rests are easily proven false,” Derderian said.

“Pasadena Police Department patrol officers initiated a traffic stop based upon a detective investigation and traffic violation witnessed by police. As per department policies and procedures, the officers remained professional the entire time, assessed the situation, speaking with the individuals and conducting appropriate and necessary searches of the individuals -- a waist- band check for weapons -- and of the vehicle. After the vehicle and individuals were searched and questioned, they were free to leave the scene,” according to the city.

“When the police department received a personnel complaint, a thorough review of the incident was undertaken per department policy. The in- car camera footage from the patrol car clearly shows that the officers acted appropriately.”

According to the complaint, which seeks at least $25 million in damages, the officers allegedly violated the civil rights of the women, who were 41 and 20 years old at the time of the May 2, 2016, traffic stop.

The lawsuit contends the women were stopped by police around 3:25 p.m. that day near the intersection of Altadena Drive and Foothill Boulevard. The women contend the officers physically searched them without probable cause or justification, with one of the male officers “using his bare hands to rub between (the) legs,” in the areas of the “crotch” and “buttocks” and inside the pants of the daughter, according to the lawsuit.

The suit alleges that one of the officers forced the mother to lift her shirt and “expose her breasts” in public view.

Even though the mother immediately drove to the Pasadena Police Department after the stop to lodge a complaint, the police department failed to seriously investigate the claims and refused to take any disciplinary action against the officers, the lawsuit alleges.

“We're living in the age of the `Me Too' movement and people have to be held accountable for their actions, including police officers,” Diourbel said. “It's time for the sexual assaults and violence committed against women to stop, once and for all.”

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