Wednesday, October 18, 2017
LAPD Slapped with 300,000 Verdict for Excessive Force
By Sentinel News Service
Published August 15, 2013

On August 9,  a federal jury awarded Rodney Sawyer, a 33-year old African-American single father, $300,000.00 against Los Angeles Police Department Officers Navaro Alvarro and Luis Bonilla for an illegal detention and use of excessive force during a 2011 encounter which severely injured Sawyer’s right shoulder and wrist. Sawyer was represented by attorneys Rodney S. Diggs and Rickey Ivie of Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt.

LAPD officers detained Sawyer under the erroneous suspicion that he was attempting to break into a vehicle parked in front of his home. Sawyer was the registered owner of the vehicle. During the encounter, police officers grabbed, handcuffed and searched Sawyer without telling him why he was being detained. The officers used so much force that Sawyer will need to undergo orthoscopic surgery to repair the damage to his right shoulder and wrist.

The jury ultimately decided the LAPD officers’ actions during the incident were unlawful and violated Sawyer’s Fourth Amendment rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. The jury awarded Sawyer $300,000.00, including punitive damages.

When asked if he saw any similarities to the Trayvon Martin case, Mr. Diggs said, “it’s time for us all to take a hard look at the consequences of racial profiling and demand that law enforcement agencies around the country respect the rights of all Americans, regardless of color or class.” 


Categories: Local

Get the Los Angeles Sentinel App!


LA Sentinel
in your pocket:

Taste of Soul Sponsors

© 2017 Los Angeles Sentinel All Rights Reserved • A Bakewell Media Publication

Contact UsAboutMedia KitCorrections & Misprints

Terms of ServicePrivacy Policy

LA Watts TimesTaste of Soul

Close / I'm already on the list

Subscribe Today!

Don't be limited anymore! Subscribe Now »

** Existing subscribers, please Login / Register for Digital »

Subscribe to The Los Angeles Sentinel for only $5.99 $3.99 per month, with 1 month free!

Relax in comfort each week as you read the printed newspaper on your own time, delivered weekly to your home or office. This subscription also includes UNLIMITED DIGITAL ACCESS for all of your devices. Includes FREE shipping! One easy payment of $3.99/month gets you:

Subscribe Now »

Enter For a Chance to Win!

HYUNDAI "Better" Contest at Taste of Soul Los Angeles