Images and video below the Press Release.
Update, March 10, 2022: This lawsuit has been covered in Reason.com https://reason.com/2022/03/08/video-shows-california-cops-arresting-mom-and-grandma-for-filming-them/
March 4, 2022
PRESS RELEASE AND NOTICE OF PRESS CONFERENCE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE OF PRESS CONFERENCE: Tuesday, March 8, 2022 – International Women’s Day
TIME: 11:00 a.m.
LOCATION: Sidewalk outside of building of
Toni Jaramilla, APLC and Alexander Morrison +Fehr
1900 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067
RE: HEMET POLICE BRUTALIZED A GRANDMOTHER, DAUGHTER, her FIANCE AND TWO PET DOGS, IN FRONT OF THEIR YOUNG, CRYING CHILDREN. NEIGHBORS CAPTURED THE EXCESSIVE FORCE ON VIDEO.
(VIDEO AND PHOTOS AVAILABLE)
Announcing the filing of a civil rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Central District, Eastern Division:
Mariah Hereford, Monett Hereford, Ryan Gadison v. City of Hemet, and Does 1-25
Case # 5:22-cv-00394
Press Contact: Toni Jaramilla, Esq. (310) 386-4777 (mobile); (310) 551-3020 (office)
Attending: Monett Hereford and Mariah Hereford, Co-Plaintiffs/Victims
Toni Jaramilla, Civil rights attorney representing Plaintiffs
Bernard Alexander, Civil rights attorney representing Plaintiffs
Najee Ali, Civil rights leader
For Release on March 4, 2022: Plaintiffs have filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Hemet and its Police Department for brutally striking and manhandling three African American citizens, a grandmother, a mother and her fiancé, and choking and beating their restrained dogs, all in plain view of their four crying and traumatized children, ages 3, 5, 8, and 9. HPD Officers struck the mother and grandmother’s phones out of their hands, and struck the mother against the ground repeatedly and manhandled and “frisked” the grandmother, all in retaliation for their actions in filming and complaining about the arrest and excessive use of force on Ryan Gadison in their exercise of 1st Amendment rights.
On the evening of March 31, 2021, Ryan Gadison (then age 32) was driving home from work to have dinner with his fiancé, Mariah Hereford (29), their four children, and the children’s grandmother, Monett Hereford (54).
Mr. Gadison was spotted by two Caucasian HPD officers from the Gang Task Force, driving while Black, in the opposite direction in a nice car. The HPD Officers made a U-turn behind Gadison and pulled behind him into the family driveway on Oakland Avenue, despite Gadison and his family having no criminal or gang affiliation.
With squad car lights flashing, HPD officers used their flashlight to peer inside Gadison’s car and asked for permission to search, because they had no reasonable suspicion or probable cause. When Gadison refused, HPD officers aggressively dragged Mr. Gadison from his car, pinned him against his vehicle and arrested him, supposedly for having a suspended driver’s license. This excuse allowed the HPD officers to confiscate and search Mr. Gadison’s vehicle, their ultimate objective. The search found nothing illegal.
Mariah and Monett Hereford used their cell phones to start filming and complaining about the HPD officers’ unwarranted use of excessive force, in exercised of their First Amendment rights. In retaliation, one HPD officer knocked Mariah’s phone out of her hand, knocked her to the ground. He then violently grabbed her hair, yanked her head back and repeatedly slammed her face against the ground. When Mariah pleaded for the HPD officer to let her go, he shouted “Shut your fucking mouth!” The officer then hooked his fingers underneath Mariah’s jaw, as if she were a fish, not a human-being, and yanked her upward from the ground. Mariah wailed in agony and lost consciousness several times before she was aggressively and tightly handcuffed.
A second officer knocked the grandmother, Monett Hereford’s cell phone to the ground, man-handled and threw her against the vehicle and tightly handcuffed her. Over Monett’s objection, a male officer conducted a purposefully invasive full body “search and frisk,” grabbing and probing between this grandmother’s legs and groin area, despite the presence of female officers fully capable of conducting a less offensive or invasive search.
Three beloved family pets were separately attached to 4-foot chains that prevented the dogs from reaching the HPD officers. One officer lifted “Blue” by the collar and violently threw him to the ground. A second officer brutally beat “Rocky” with a baton, requiring veterinary treatment. All of this occurred as their four young children watched, screamed, and cried in horror, at seeing their family and their home attacked by the police.
Ryan Gadison and the grandmother, Monett Hereford, were each arrested for PC 148(a) (1), Obstructing arrest, a misdemeanor. Mariah Hereford was arrested for PC 148.10(a), Resisting a peace officer resulting in injury, a felony. No actual charges were filed against anyone.
Plaintiffs’ Civil rights attorney, Toni Jaramilla, states: “The fight against injustice and violence against women is also about law enforcement needlessly violating women for sport. Nothing about Mariah and Monett Hereford was a threat to these officers or justified the brutality these officers inflicted on a mother and grandmother.” Co-counsel and Civil rights attorney, Bernard Alexander, states “This lawsuit seeks to hold bullies in uniform accountable, and the leadership structure that continues to allow this racist conduct to occur.”
Reflecting on this incident, Ryan Gadison states: “It is heartbreaking to know that my children had to witness first-hand, this heightened level of evil, hate and prejudice from the police at such a young age.
Mariah and Monett agree, “No child should ever have to helplessly watch their parents be brutalized by police, who we try to teach should be helping them, not hurting them.”