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BLM-South Pasadena founder settles lawsuit against LAPD


Hit several times with projectiles

A civil rights lawsuit brought by the founder of Black Lives Matter South Pasadena against the Los Angeles Police Department and several officers alleging excessive force used against her at a George Floyd protest four years ago has settled on the eve of trial, according to court papers obtained on Feb. 29.

Fahren James alleges she was badly injured when she was shot by officers multiple times with so-called “less-lethal’’ projectiles on May 30, 2020, outside CBS Studios, when citizens were protesting the killing of Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police five days earlier, according to the June 2021 complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court.

A docket item filed Feb. 27–the day trial was scheduled to begin–shows that “the case has been completely settled’’ following mediation. No further details were immediately available.

The settlement is pending approval by the city of Los Angeles, according to the notice.

Attorneys representing the defendants had asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit James filed in 2021, arguing that the protest was unlawful and the officers actions were not intended to stifle free speech. They also argued that they did not use excessive force on James, and that the doctrine of qualified immunity shielded the officers from civil action, among other claims.

U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall reviewed officers’ body-worn camera footage, and evidence and argument presented by the plaintiff’s attorney and ruled that the trial could proceed.

The judge determined that a reasonable jury could find James’ act of protesting was a substantial motivating factor in the officers’ conduct.

The lawsuit alleges First and Fourth Amendment violations made by the LAPD, including excessive force and retaliation against peaceful protesters.