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Family of 12-year-old boy forcefully arrested and covered with spit mask file claim against Sacramento

Alejandra Reyes-Velarde, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

Attorneys representing the family of a 12-year-old boy who was forcefully arrested in April have filed a claim against the city of Sacramento, Calif., Sacramento Police Department and the involved officers.

Attorneys Mark T. Harris and Dale K. Galipo filed the claim Friday morning, alleging that the boy was arrested without probable cause and that the city and police department were negligent; caused the boy, his sister and his mother emotional distress; and failed to properly train its officials. The attorneys are seeking more than $100,000 in damages.

Representatives for the city of Sacramento did not respond to requests for comment.

The next step, Harris said, is to file a lawsuit against the city of Sacramento, the Sacramento Police Department, the Paladin security company and the restaurant Wienerschnitzel, which he expects to do in less than 18 months.

Isaiah Brown was cited with two misdemeanors of suspicion of battery on a police officer and resisting arrest after the incident in question, which occurred on the evening of April 21, according to the claim. With a push from Tanya Faison, founder of a local chapter of Black Lives Matter, a video of the incident surfaced a month later, and the police department released body camera footage on May 22.

The video showed then-11-year-old Isaiah being forced to the ground by police. Officials said that the boy allegedly spat on the officers, and police placed a "spit mask" over his head before he was arrested.


Marcus Basquez, a spokesman for the Sacramento Police Department, told the Los Angeles Times in May that officers appropriately used the spit mask to protect themselves and defuse the situation.

According to Basquez, the boy had been asking for money at businesses in the area of Del Paso Boulevard and El Camino Avenue and was asked to leave several times. A security guard tried to stop the boy, but he ran away, he said.

Police officers stopped to help the security guard detain the boy.

In the viral video, the boy can be heard saying, "You ain't got no right to be doing this. ... Come on now, come on now. What is you doing? Yeah, I spit on you. ... What you going to do?"


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