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Civil Rights Case Involving California Casino Goes Awry, Lawyer Says

Federal Civil Jury Sides With Law Enforcement Over Casino Customers


Per a report from the Fresno Bee, on Wednesday a jury in U.S. District Court in Fresno rejected claims of excessive force and false arrest in an incident that occurred outside of the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in 2013. The four victims, all family, said that law enforcement attacked them for no legitimate reason as they were waiting on a ride. One of the victim’s suffered a broken hip in the incident that was captured on camera, as seen below.

The jury unanimously found that the victims weren’t entitled to any damages. The lawyers for the three officers accused of misconduct said that one of the gamblers was intoxicated in public.

Stephen Cornwell, the lawyer for the family, said that a verbal altercation had occurred earlier in the day between the family and another patron of the casino. Security broke up that argument, and the family decided to go home. Everything had calmed down, according to the attorney, when police arrived at the casino as the family was waiting on their ride home.

One of the victims didn’t want to talk to the police officers because he thought they were additional casino security employees, the lawyer said. The three police officers allegedly didn’t respond well to being slighted, and a physical confrontation then ensued. The lawyer said that multiple victims hit the ground during the scuffle.

A lawyer for the police officers reportedly said that one of the family members was a “threat to public safety” because he had been drinking and that the victims were to blame because they initiated the incident by not answering the cops’ questions about their ride home.

“They were peacefully waiting for a limo when the deputies began interrogating them,” Cornwell said. “The law says they don’t have to answer questions by police.”

“It’s the weirdest thing,” Cornwell said of the ruling.

No charges were filed after the victims were arrested.

Tags: California,   Jury,   Casino


1 year ago