New Claims Sought Against LA County in Deputy Body Slam Suit

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Attorneys for a Black teenage girl who was allegedly body-slammed by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy working as a school resource officer at Lancaster High School in 2021 want a judge to allow them to add additional claims against the county for retaliation and abuse of process.

The plaintiff, born in 2004, is identified only as Jane Doe 1 in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit brought against the county, the Sheriff's Department, Deputy Daniel Acquilano and the Antelope Valley Union High School District.

In court papers filed Tuesday with Judge Armen Tamzarian, Doe's attorneys state that the LASD has issued her a series of citations for allegedly threatening an officer despite decisions by the District Attorney's Office to not bring a criminal case against the girl.

"After the district attorney declined to prosecute plaintiff, it has become apparent that LASD's repeated issuance of citations to plaintiff were a means of intimidation, retaliation and harassment," according to Doe's attorneys, who further state in their court papers that the teen has since turned 18 and the complaint needs to be further amended to reflect that fact.

A hearing on the motion to amend the complaint is scheduled April 20.

Attorneys for the county and the district deny any liability and state that the plaintiff is not entitled to damages, according to their court papers.

The incident was recorded on video and occurred Aug. 30, 2021, at Lancaster High when the girl, then 16, refused the deputy's request to hand over her cell phone and began walking away, the suit states.

"After slamming her down, he straddles her face down on the ground, while she is screaming to call her mom," the suit filed last May 4 states. "The video captures school personnel standing around watching the incident, failing to intervene."

Doe remained face down on the ground for several minutes, pinned and straddled by the deputy, the suit states.

Doe was taken nearly 50 miles away to Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar and her mother was notified to pick her up about 8 p.m., according to the suit.

She returned to school for one day on Sept. 3, 2021, and Acquilano "continued to engage in highly inappropriate conduct by mocking, teasing and harassing her over the attack," the suit alleges.

Doe's mother was forced to look for alternative education for her daughter through independent study because the district has not removed Acquilano from Lancaster High, the suit states.

Doe was left "physically and emotionally devastated," the suit states.

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