A California man with diabetes is suing Long Beach police for attacking him while injecting the insulin that keeps him alive after mistaking his medicine for heroin.
The complaint states that 67-year-Miguel Angel Llamas was hanging out at his neighbor’s home when several cops rushed up to him brandishing their handguns and grabbing his arm, pulling out the medical-tubing attached to his arm for the dialysis treatment he undergoes each week – resulting in a bloody, painful experience.
“The unreasonable and unnecessary yanking and pulling of Plaintiff’s arms caused Plaintiff’s medical tubing to become disconnected, causing Plaintiff to suffer severe pain and visible bleeding,” states the complaint, which can be read here.
“One of the other defendants then slammed plaintiff up against the wall, causing Plaintiff to strike his head.”
Then two cops forcefully yanked him by the arms in an “extremely forceful and violent manner,” the lawsuit alleges.
As the cops became violent and the commotion ensued, Llamas says he pleaded with cops to be careful dealing with him due to his health issues.
Llamas questioned why they were being so violent with him. That’s when a cop-named-defendent in the lawsuit came up and swept Llamas’ leg and then forced the 67-year-old diabetic man on dialysis into handcuffs.
Llamas informed them he was in pain, but his pleas went ignored as cops restrained him in the back of a police cruisers for about 15 minutes, which could raise Terry stop issues if the police didn’t have reasonable suspicion he committed crime when they detained him.
In a conversation with PINAC, Llamas’ attorney, Humberto Guizar implied his client may have been profiled as an illegal drug user.
“Police were there because of a call by someone saying there was a man with a gun. My client did not have a gun. They saw him injecting himself and they assumed he was a drug addict. That is why they attacked him.”
Guizar’s lawsuit argues Long Beach police deprived his client’s rights to be free from state action so badly it would ‘shock the conscience under the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause’ and also alleges violations of the Fourth Amendment, failures to develop appropriate training policy, and excessive force.
The suit also states that the officers witnessing the attack with “deliberate indifference,” refusing to do anything to prevent it should be held liable as well.
The officers released Llamas from the police car after realizing he had committed no crime, but never offered him medical attention or even an offer to call an ambulance.
Llamas seeks to recover for damages due to the unreasonable search and seizure, excessive force, denial of medical care, assault and battery, constitutional violations, and municipal liability.
And an apology might be nice, too….