A Valencia, California woman has filed a lawsuit against the city of Carlsbad, after officers with the Carlsbad Police Department brutally beat her in front of her children.
California – Cindy Hahn said the incident on July 31, 2013 – a day she calls the worst one of her life – was captured on cellphone video.
The footage shows Cindy Hahn on the ground with one officer on top of her and a second officer repeatedly punching her in the head, kneeing her body and placing his knee on her head to press her face into the ground with his full body weight.
Cindy Hahn says her children screamed and watched from the car. She says her son still talks about it. (video below)
“The only thing that he’ll talk to me about is, ‘I couldn’t protect you, Mom. I could’ve. I could’ve got him off you. I could have helped you,’ ” she said. Hahn is a mother, wife, and daughter of a retired officer.
She says it all started after she asked a Carlsbad police officer what was going on as he stood in front of a car with its doors open and the vehicle’s alarm blaring.
“And he says, ‘Is this your car?’ And I said, ‘No, sir.’ And he says, ‘Then mind your own [expletive]business,’ ” she said. Stunned, Hahn says she told a man nearby what the officer said and together they decided she should do something about it so she started to take video.
She states that the officer continued cursing at her, which led her to call police to report him. She then left. Moments later, Hahn says that same officer pulled her car over for a seat belt violation she was told.
Within seconds of being pulled over, she says she was pinned to the ground. She states and video shows, that things got more violent when backup arrived. She says the memory still haunts her. “I can feel hands on me. It’s the weirdest feeling,” she said.
Ben Meiselas, one of the attorney’s representing Hahn, released this statement:
“The Carlsbad Police Department not only beat and brutalized Ms. Hahn in front of her children causing permanent injuries, they then prepared false police reports causing Ms. Hahn to be criminally prosecuted for felony criminal charges which were completely dismissed when the District Attorney saw the video. Now, rather than apologize and hold the police officers accountable, the Carlsbad Police Department has doubled down, at the expense of taxpayers (even after watching the video), by hiring a private law firm which is claiming the conduct of the police officers was normal and business as usual for Carlsbad Police. This is a police department that needs a complete institutional shakeup so that this tragedy never happens again.”
This July, two years later, the San Diego District Attorney decided to drop the felony charges police had filed against Hahn for resisting arrest and battery on a peace officer.
Her attorney, Mark Geragos, says the video was all it took. “Never seen a police tactics expert testify that what you need to do is slug a female in the face,” he said. Hahn is now suing the city of Carlsbad and the police officers involved. Geragos says they want the police officers fired and reform at the police department.
The city of Carlsbad, the Carlsbad Police Department, and the Carlsbad City Attorney’s office released this statement in regards to the incident and subsequent lawsuit:
“The City of Carlsbad looks forward to bringing this lawsuit before the proper judicial authorities as soon as possible. We are prepared to provide a complete and detailed account of the facts of this incident in a courtroom, not in the media.”