Black Veteran Arrested After Calling 911 Files $10 Million Lawsuit Against LAPD Officers and City of Los Angeles

According to a U.S. District Court judge, two Los Angeles Police Department officers and the City of Los Angeles will stand trial early next year for the fraudulent arrest, sexual abuse, and forced hospitalization of US Army veteran Slade Douglas.

Officers Jeremy Wheeler and Jeffrey Yabana are not entitled to qualified immunity for unconstitutional detention, excessive force, retaliation, violation of due process, violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, violation of the Bane Act, battery, false arrest, and imprisonment, as well as negligence, according to Judge Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong, who ruled last month that the City is vicariously liable for the offenders.

Wheeler told Douglas, ‘The worst thing Douglas could do was make a 911 call right in front of the officers,’ and he also stated, ‘What Douglas did was against the law.’ Judge Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong states, ‘It is also undisputed that Wheeler stated multiple times that the detention was due to the engagement in the protected activity.’ Additionally, she states, ‘A jury could find that Douglas was detained for engaging in constitutionally protected activity.’ Judge Frimpong concludes, ‘No reasonable officer could believe that there was probable cause for the detention.”

The complaint stems from an event in 2019 in which officers wrongly arrested veterans advocate Slade Douglas, 46, inside his Los Angeles home after receiving a request for a wellness check.

Records show that Douglas denied the unnecessary retaliatory welfare check, which was based on the malicious, false suicidal charges made against him by the Veterans Affairs (Veteran’s Crisis Line) upon coming and entering Douglas’s home with his authorization.

Body camera footage, which had previously been sealed under a protective order, has now revealed LAPD officers’ improper searches and unlawful seizure of Douglas using threats and force.

Douglas stayed in the patrol car, handcuffed, for about 30 minutes after the fake arrest, complaining about his agony. Officers were heard laughing and making fun of Douglas’s disability assertions and disregarding his demands for reasonable accommodations.

The video also captures a paramedic advising the officers: “Take him to the hospital… you need to clear him. That way, it takes all the liability off you guys, takes it off the city.” Next, Douglas was double-cuffed, placed on a gurney, and illegally taken and carried away by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, California.

According to Douglas’s sworn deposition, “he stated that officers told the nurse, ‘Ricky,’ they needed to find something in Douglas’s system to justify his arrest. Ricky agreed to do this and then injected Douglas without his consent.”

According to hospital documents, Douglas was forcibly injected three times while still double-cuffed to a gurney. He was then placed in leather shackles, spread eagle by his arms and ankles in what was described as a torture chamber device, while unconscious from the drugging. He was subjected to invasive procedures in which his genitals were both handled and gripped, a foreign item (catheter) was forcibly placed into his penis, and he was threatened with the injection of additional medicines in order to extract information. This alleged torture lasted more than eight hours.

Judge Frimpong, in her ruling’s ‘Findings of Fact’ section, declared: “Upon arriving at the hospital, Wheeler spoke with medical staff, and Douglas received treatment without his consent.”

Douglas was charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Penal Code 245(a)(1)), sexual battery (Penal Code 243.4(a), assault (Penal Code 240), battery (Penal Code 242), and false imprisonment (Penal Code 236-237) at the hospital.

The officers’ and medical staff’s conduct are accused of violating federal legislation pertaining to conspiracy against rights (18 U.S.C. 241), abuses under color of law (18 U.S.C. 242), and federally protected activities (18 U.S.C. 245).

Judge Frimpong also stated, “The purpose of a welfare check is for the benefit of the individual at issue, not because they are under suspicion of any crime.”

“The defendants concede that Douglas was engaged in protected speech when he contacted 911 in their presence, deeming it unconstitutional to evoke probable cause to take someone into custody under WIC 5150. The Court notes that these Officers were apparently aware of this legal standard, further undermining their request for qualified immunity,” the judge wrote.

Douglas is being defended by nationally famous civil rights attorney Peter Carr, founder of PLC Law Group, as well as prominent civil rights attorneys Lauren McRae and Na’Shaun Neal. The trial date has been set for March 25, 2024.

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