As part of its civil rights practice, which includes both appellate and trial work, Emergent LLP has filed a Section 1983 suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of Julia Rivera, a resident of San Francisco's Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood.
In September 2015, a group of San Francisco Police officers barged into Julia's home, supposedly looking for one of her sons. They did not have a warrant, permission to enter, or claim there was an emergency. The officers went in anyhow, searching Julia's home illegally.
As they moved through the house, the officers roughly handled her possessions, including delicate flower arrangements, pottery, and other curios she had crafted. When they began to search a closet that contained some of Julia's most prized work, she asked them to be careful, and again requested that they leave. In response, the officers abruptly handcuffed her, wrenching her arm and knocking her down in the process, and then dragged her down a flight of stairs. Those actions caused Julia, a diminutive woman, so much pain that she lost consciousness. When she came to, the officers handed her a certificate noting that she had been briefly taken into custody and released, and left without having found anything relating to illegal conduct.
Julia was severely injured by the officers. She has suffered lasting damage to her shoulder and arm, limiting her ability to create her prized handicrafts, and was deeply traumatized, experiencing recurring nightmares.
Julia's complaint is here. We will provide ongoing updates on the blog and in the Emergent LLP newsletter.
Emergent LLP stands for civil rights. To find out more about our pro bono practice, contact us.