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Long Beach settles civil rights lawsuit


Man allegedly hit in groin by police officer

The City of Long Beach has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit brought by a prostate cancer patient who alleged  was kneed in the groin for no legitimate reason by a police officer during an arrest for driving with an expired registration.

Johnny Jackson filed suit for civil rights violations last year in Los Angeles federal court, alleging excessive and unreasonable force during the Sept. 3, 2022, incident. The Long Beach city council approved the settlement on Jan. 16.

The blows to Jackson’s groin resulted in emergency medical complications, including severe pain and blood in his urine, his attorneys said.

The incident was captured on Jackson’s security camera and on an officer’s body-worn camera. It began as Jackson, who had prostate surgery just the day before, was returning home from Staples after making a copy of a doctor’s note to give to his employer when he noticed he was being followed closely by an unmarked Long Beach Police vehicle, according to the suit.

Jackson says he pulled into his driveway and was approached by three officers as he got out of his car. Worried about their intentions, Jackson informed them about his recent surgery and that he was aware of an infraction on his vehicle registration, he said.

The situation escalated when officers issued differing commands as a gust of wind blew pages from the doctor’s report off Jackson’s vehicle. When he went to put his hand on the report, one of the officers jumped off Jackson’s porch, grabbed, pulled, and twisted his left arm, according to Jackson.

The plaintiff’s attorneys allege the officers grabbed Jackson’s arms, pulling in different directions, and one of them kneed him in the groin three times with significant force after another officer hit Jackson in the head and attempted a takedown maneuver.

Despite Jackson not resisting, he was handcuffed, placed in a patrol vehicle, and cited for expired vehicle registration and purportedly resisting arrest, according to the lawsuit.

“The city should issue an apology to Mr. Jackson for the outrageous conduct of its officers,” civil rights attorney Patrick Buelna said in a statement. “No one should have to endure such a humiliating and painful experience at the hands of what are supposed to be public servants.”