Here is an excerpt from Denny Walsh's Sacramento Bee story on a lawsuit filed by local attorney Stewart Katz against Rocklin police officers:
The late-night disturbance apparently was too much for one resident, who summoned Rocklin police.
What happened over the next couple of hours is now the subject of explosive allegations in a civil rights lawsuit against Rocklin officers that claims Huggins, who is African American, was singled out for harassment and intimidation by three white police officers because of his race.
The suit, filed in federal court in Sacramento this month, claims police forced Huggins and Rylee, his white roommate, to the ground, handcuffed them and kicked Huggins in the face when he asked an officer why he had drawn his pistol out of its holster. Then, both sides agree, the handcuffed pair were driven away to a dark, empty parking lot a mile away for more questioning.
“I’m like, ‘Why are we in a vacant parking lot? Why aren’t we going to the precinct?’ ” Huggins said this month in an interview at the office of his Sacramento attorney, Stewart Katz. “I thought I was going to die, basically.”
“In particular, Huggins was told to say he had consumed a significant quantity of alcohol, and that had affected his actions,” the lawsuit claims. Huggins said he didn’t drink that night, and in fact doesn’t drink at all.
The case was dropped after he spent 23 hours in jail on charges of resisting arrest, obstructing an officer and being drunk in public. Huggins’ lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages and names as defendants the city of Rocklin and three officers. It alleges violations of Huggins’ rights guaranteed by federal and state constitutional, statutory and common law, including the rights to be free from unreasonable seizure, excessive force, false arrest and malicious prosecution.
Rocklin police, in statements issued to The Sacramento Bee and in crime reports filed by officers involved in the arrests, dispute the claims in the lawsuit. Police say their original review of the incident showed “there were no violations of department policy, state or federal laws.”