Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Bell 206 Jetranger helicopter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As the school year comes to an end at University of Southern California (USC), students who are anxious to graduate or to complete another year look for experiences in which they can relax and avoid the stresses of upcoming finals and deciding grades.
Nate Howard, a senior at USC, attempted to provide an event like that last Friday night. He threw a party at his house near the campus to celebrate the upcoming graduation that was registered with campus police and required student IDs at the door to ensure that it would not get out of hand. However, at about 2 a.m. Saturday, the Los Angeles Police Department arrived in a manner that suggested it had gotten severely out of hand.
Over 80 LAPD officers showed up to the house in riot gear and with a helicopter after receiving noise complaints from the neighbors. They used excessive force to empty the house of students, applied handcuffs and even arrested six students – Howard was one of them.
The reason for LAPD’s unnecessarily intense reaction to noise complaints? Perhaps the fact that the party was comprised of mostly African-American students, so prejudices and stereotypes were utilized.
Since the event, USC has seen protests and even held a meeting with LAPD on campus. Howard was accompanied in his protest by over 100 students that held signs reading, “We are scholars not criminals.” The party organizer also criticizes LAPD’s priorities as it sent 80 officers to one party when they could/should have been doing something else.
The next day after the protest, a panel of LAPD officers spoke with a packed audience of students in a USC auditorium that holds 1200. LAPD Captain Paul Snell explained how the police responded to a noise complaint and felt threatened, but “[he does] not believe that this was race-based.”
However, based on the fact that there was a party across the street from Howard’s house that was attended by mostly white students and was handled in a much more tame way, that doesn’t seem true. Sarah Tither-Kaplan explains how her party was just as loud and police arrived after receiving noise complaints, but no one was arrested or forced out.
LAPD assures the students that it will look further into the matter after hearing that all attendees of the meeting felt that the attack was race-based. Depending on LAPD’s next move, it may face trial for a lawsuit of racial discrimination.
If you feel that you have been mistreated, abused, neglected or simply want appropriate compensation for any suffering that you have experienced, contact an accident attorney today to see what you can do.