Patterico's Pontifications

7/11/2014

UCLA Agrees to Pay Half a Million to Settle Black Judge’s Claim That He Was “Shaken, Battered, and Bruised”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:46 pm

Justice has been served:

UCLA has agreed to pay $500,000, including $350,000 in scholarships, to settle a claim by a prominent African American judge over alleged mistreatment and racial profiling by campus police during a traffic stop last year, officials announced Friday.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David S. Cunningham, who is a former president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, and his attorney will receive $150,000 and an additional $350,000 will establish a scholarship fund named after Cunningham and administered by the UCLA Black Alumni Association for undergraduate or law students, according to a statement from both sides in the dispute.

In addition, UCLA pledged to improve training for police on diversity and to hold a one-day community forum about relations between police and the public, including racial profiling.

The judge in January filed a $10-million claim against UCLA for excessive force and racial profiling, alleging that he was “shaken, battered and bruised” in the Nov. 23, 2013 traffic stop in Westwood.

$10 million dollars! I’ll be shaken, battered, and bruised for $10 million! I’ll do it for $150,000! Heck, I’ll do it for the low, low price of $50,000. UCLA? Call me, babe. Let’s set something up.

According to Cunningham’s complaint, he was trying to find his registration and insurance forms in his car’s glove box when a prescription bottle for high blood pressure medicine rolled out. One of the officers asked him whether he was carrying drugs. Cunningham then said he went to search his trunk for the papers and that the officers, Kevin Dodd and James Kim, rushed and handcuffed him.

Cunningham, who had reviewed many cases of possible police misconduct matters during his time on the Police Commission, said he feared for his safety and began yelling about police brutality and demanded they call a supervisor.

In a statement after the incident, the UCLA police department said the matter began as a routine traffic stop and that Cunningham ignored officers’ orders to stay in his car. “Despite these instructions, the driver left the vehicle – an escalating behavior that can place officers at risk,” the department said at the time.

He was . . . so scared about police brutality during the traffic stop that he exited his car without permission and made for his trunk — where, for all the officers knew, he was going to retrieve a gun and execute them.

As a judge, he should have known that a traffic stop is one of the most potentially dangerous situations an officer can face . . . and that you don’t get out of your car and walk to your trunk.

But you know what? It’s UCLA. UCLA and this judge deserve each other.

The scholarship fund will be named the David S. Cunningham, III Scholarship for Civil Rights. Asked whether it will be reserved for African American students, [attorney Carl] Douglas said that will be decided by Cunningham and the black alumni association.

That means yes.

62 Responses to “UCLA Agrees to Pay Half a Million to Settle Black Judge’s Claim That He Was “Shaken, Battered, and Bruised””

  1. Get outta that chair, wash yo face and hands
    Get outta that chair, wash yo face and hands
    I said shake, batter and bruise
    Shake batter and bruise

    Colonel Haiku (abcba6)

  2. sometimes the african american judges get shaken and then battered and after that they have the bruises

    that will be ten million dollars please

    ok fine – you wanna argue?

    now it’s twenty million dollars

    keep talking momo

    yeah you just keep talking

    can i get rich enough off this crap?

    no

    no i can’t

    america

    america

    godshedhisgraceonthee

    lol

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  3. Video cams on all LE ASAP, please.

    Any reports of discipline taken against the cops?

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  4. R.I.P. Tommy Ramone

    Icy (8b16aa)

  5. UCLA pledged to improve training for police on diversity and to hold a one-day community forum about relations between police and the public, including racial profiling.

    How about holding a compulsory one-day training session for Los Angeles County judges and LA Police Commission members on the utility of complying with police instructions. It’s a great way to avoid official entanglements.

    ropelight (4da1b1)

  6. Why were the registration and insurance papers in the trunk? Odd place to keep them.

    Angelo (1fc307)

  7. It’s too bad that the California taxpayers have to pay this, but otherwise the LA in UCLA makes me give the black guy the benefit of the doubt. These are campus cops who washed out from the CHPs or the LAPD exam too, right? But they have full police authority in the campus area which includes the public streets and nearby businesses and residences, with their own court key (place on court calendar) for their traffic citations? Maybe the solution is that they’re told that they’re security guards there to protect the students and staff of the university, and leave the ordinary police work to real police? And traffic wardens? And meter maids?

    nk (dbc370)

  8. he was the head of the police commission, that makes their lives all that more frustrating, I wonder if that enters into it,

    narciso (24b824)

  9. He’s lucky he wasn’t shot. I remember being pulled over in my home state of NY. I opened the car door and over the speakers they yelled, “stay the f#ck in your car and close the door, now!” Scared the crap out of me.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  10. “Video cams on all LE ASAP, please.”

    When my daughter was 16, a friend asked her to pick him up at Saddleback College because he had missed the last bus after night class. She drove 3 blocks to the school and he was standing at he bus stop. She pulled up to pick him up when a sheriff’s car pulled in behind her. She was uncertain if she should drive away as she didn’t know if she had violated some law. The deputy walked up to her car and, when she asked him what was the matter, he told her she was going to get a citation for parking in a bus zone. She said,”I’m not parked.” He said, “You are now.”

    When I learned about this, I asked to see the video as all Orange County sheriffs had video cameras in their cars. I wasn’t going to assume that she was a describing the incident correctly. Her mother and I were never able to see the video as they kept inventing reasons why we could only see it at 4 AM, etc.

    Don’t rely on the video as the cops will evade and evade.

    Mike K (b5c01a)

  11. The California tort system is a very non-representative one, too. Weird theories of recovery and excessive verdicts are common. A recent verdict, the Dodgers have to fork out $11 million to a guy who got drunk during the game (twice legal BAC) and picked a fight with a couple of Mexicans in the parking lot, which left him very badly disabled from head injuries. Theory of liability — the Dodgers did not provide adequate security in the judgment of the jury.

    nk (dbc370)

  12. I have a form subpoena for that, Mike K. They bring it to court on the date and time it says.

    nk (dbc370)

  13. but otherwise the LA in UCLA makes me give the black guy the benefit of the doubt.

    Huh? It’s more a case of a liberal in a liberal environment — where the inability of much of the populace to judge people and situations correctly is par for the course — makes everyone deserving of skepticism, not the other way around.

    Glints of squish-squish on your part, nk, which is alive and well and helping turn the US into Mexico North, where everything and everyone (the populace, the cops, the government, etc) is corrupted by unethical leftism, or variations thereof.

    Mark (8cacab)

  14. the Dodgers did not provide adequate security in the judgment of the jury.

    The cheapness and stupidity (and irresponsibility) of compassion for compassion’s sake.

    Mark (8cacab)

  15. A recent verdict, the Dodgers have to fork out $11 million to a guy who got drunk during the game (twice legal BAC) and picked a fight with a couple of Mexicans in the parking lot, which left him very badly disabled from head injuries.

    My best friend(a Raiders fan) and I used to go to the Chargers/Raiders games at Jack Murphy Stadium just to watch the fights. It was dangerous spectating. We would get drunk at home prior to the game, take the bus to the game, but not drink during the game. You did not want to go to the restrooms unless absolutely necessary. Especially if you had on decent shoes and pants. Besides, beers were $8 each, and by the time you got back to your seat, half of it spilled out from having your arm hit by other fans.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  16. “I have a form subpoena for that, Mike K. They bring it to court on the date and time it says.

    nk ”

    Thanks. She was very upset at getting cited for something that wasn’t a violation. This is how kids learn to hate cops. I was prepared to learn she was not telling the whole story until I ran into the evasions. It was just a ticket but her first.

    Mike K (b5c01a)

  17. Closest I ever came to being shot by a LEO was when I was pulled over by a Border Patrol officer and I got out to ask him what the hell his problem was.
    It was at night, I was wearing a dark jacket, and I had a weapon (a Chinese throwing dart) in my pocket. I’m lucky he didn’t shoot my stupid 21-year-old ass!

    I’m only half that dumb now.

    Icy (8b16aa)

  18. 7.It’s too bad that the California taxpayers have to pay this

    No it’s not nk. These are the same “taxpayers” who voted in these dumbasses and I hope they get bled dry. I hope the whole damn state goes down the socialist shitter. Screw’em.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  19. Doesn’t everybody keep their car registration and proof of insurance in the trunk of their car? Doesn’t get more handy than that.

    It’s a GD shame that we have hucksters like this asshole in the criminal justice system… Alcee Hastings-wannabe POS.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  20. What do you know about him that makes him an Alcee Hastings and not an Antonin Scalia?

    See, that’s why we can’t have nice things. Timid pussyasses who poop their pants at the sight of a badge, think everybody else has a moral obligation to be the same kind of rabbit.

    nk (dbc370)

  21. A recent verdict, the Dodgers have to fork out $11 million to a guy who got drunk during the game (twice legal BAC) and picked a fight with a couple of Mexicans in the parking lot, which left him very badly disabled from head injuries. Theory of liability — the Dodgers did not provide adequate security in the judgment of the jury.

    I’m not going to feel sorry for the Dodgers. A few years back, during the wretched Frank McCourt era, I was at a game when the Padres were visiting. Two fans wearing Padres hats and shirts were being mercilessly harassed by a group of drunk gangbangers who, naturally, were with their small children. The situation started to look dangerous in about the seventh inning, so I slipped away, found a Dodger Stadium usher at the top of the stairs, and told him that the group of fans of fans in Row J were harassing and intimidating two fans in Row H. The usher said he would report it, then proceeded to absent himself from his station for the rest of the game. I’m almost positive he just wanted to avoid conflict with the gangbangers. The Padres fans left at the end of the inning because I think they legitimately feared for their safety.

    When the Brian Stowe incident happened plenty of people wrote in to newspapers and websites to share similar experiences with aggressive fans and non-responsive security at Dodger games. The Dodgers during the Frank McCourt years simply didn’t care about making the environment at the stadium safe for all fans. They were happy to sell tickets and concessions to gangbangers and made no effort to police their behavior. So Brain Stowe may not have been completely blameless in this matter, but I’m glad the Dodgers are finally being forced to own up to the crappy and dangerous environment they enabled for several years.

    JVW (feb406)

  22. R.I.P. Charlie Haden, jazz bassist extraordinaire

    Icy (8b16aa)

  23. I don’t view Scalia as corrupt, nk… perhaps you have info that indicates he is? Hastings was corrupt to his bones and any Superior Court judge that would pull this sort of horsesh*t is a shakedown artist looking to enrich himself at the expense of others. That is vile in my book and symptomatic of our bottom-feeding/lowest common denominator culture.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  24. “See, that’s why we can’t have nice things. Timid pussyasses who poop their pants at the sight of a badge, think everybody else has a moral obligation to be the same kind of rabbit.”

    I’ll take that as tongue-in-cheek, as no reasonably sane person would disregard common sense instructions to remain in an auto during a traffic stop, and instead, walk back to the trunk of his car and risk a gunshot wound.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  25. I’m going to call B.S. on this:

    He said that the officers stopped him seconds after he left a LA Fitness gym, shoved him against his car, handcuffed him and locked him in the back seat of a police cruiser until a black sergeant arrived. He alleges that the only explanation for the conduct was “his African American race,” and that he was not even close to university property.

    I don’t care if the cops showed up wearing white hoods, I refuse to believe they would be so stupid as to tell him that they were detaining him primarily because he was black. I would bet just about anything that they said, “Sir, we told you to remain in the vehicle,” as a reason for handcuffing him. According to one of the comments left on the story neither cop was disciplined in the matter, and though we don’t know for sure if that’s the case it would seem likely that we would know if they had been dismissed from the force, which you would think they would be if the judge’s allegations were believed to be true.

    JVW (feb406)

  26. So, the upshot is that UCLA is “forced” to allocate funds in a racially discriminatory manner, due to their settling a bogus lawsuit. I wonder how many other things that they want to do can be similarly arranged.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  27. Also, if some black campus cops beat up on a white frat boy, can they be forced to reserve scholarship money for white frat boys?

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  28. Maybe it’s not worth creating a confrontation where the only escalation is lethal force because of random, non-dangerous traffic violation?

    JWB (c1c08f)

  29. What do you know about him that makes him an Alcee Hastings and not an Antonin Scalia?

    Are you being purposefully naive? Based on statistics that indicate something like over 90-plus percent of black America leans left, do you have any reason to believe Cunningham leans right or is even an out-and-out moderate?

    And, yes, one can be guilty of the cheapness and foolishness of compassion for compassion’s sake, which often leads to a person giving the benefit of the doubt to the wrong person, the wrong cause.

    Mark (8cacab)

  30. Save it for Stormfront, Mark. We’ve got your number here.

    nk (dbc370)

  31. It would seem that the stop lacked ‘reasonable suspicion’ let alone a valid VC infraction.
    And, why do campus cops have any traffic responsibilities absent a campus nexus?
    There seems to be a lot of stink from this $hit pile, which is probably why the settlement.
    David Cunningham IIRC is just another in a long line of D hacks, and very well could be on his way to “Alcee” status.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  32. We’ve got your number here.

    nk, you’ve got so much squish-squish roiling around in that brain of yours, that in your perceptions of reality a “Stormfront” may be Mother Theresa and a Mother Theresa may be Stormfront.

    Mark (8cacab)

  33. Haiku, I was being hyperbolic. But the fact is that traffic stops are used not to enforce traffic safety but to raise revenue through fines and court fees and to snoop into people going on about their business.

    This is an LAT story and a lot is missing besides whether the cops were disciplined. Among other things, what was the offense for which he was stopped, was there a citation/complaint, and how was that resolved?

    nk (dbc370)

  34. Judge accuses UCLA police of brutality
    David S. Cunningham III was handcuffed and placed in a patrol car after a traffic stop over not wearing a seat belt escalated into a confrontation with officers.
    November 25, 2013|By Richard Winton

    David S. Cunningham III, left, then head of the Police Commission, with Police Chief William Bratton in 2005.

    David S. Cunningham III, left, then head of the Police Commission, with… (Lawrence K. Ho, Los Angeles…)

    David S. Cunningham III is a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, former president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, and a onetime federal civil rights attorney.

    But on Saturday morning, he found himself handcuffed in the back of a UCLA police car. Officers had pulled him over as he was driving his Mercedes out of his Westwood gym — because, the police said, he wasn’t wearing his seat belt.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  35. Above from LA Times

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  36. I conclude that if Cunningham were right-of-center, Hairy Reed would be calling him “white.”

    Elephant Stone (5c2aa0)

  37. This is an LAT story and a lot is missing besides whether the cops were disciplined. Among other things, what was the offense for which he was stopped, was there a citation/complaint, and how was that resolved?

    Actually, nk, I think it is contained in the story. The article is a bit muddled, but it sounds like the cops stopped the judge because they observed him driving without wearing his seatbelt. As to the resolution, it is apparently still up to the DA wether or not they want to prosecute the judge for any of his alleged offenses.

    JWB writes, “Maybe it’s not worth creating a confrontation where the only escalation is lethal force because of random, non-dangerous traffic violation?” Maybe, but doesn’t that mean that the best way to avoid being cited for “non-dangerous” traffic violations is to act belligerent in the presence of the cops in order to force them to try and de-escalate the situation?

    JVW (feb406)

  38. The UCLA Police Department cleared two of its officers Monday of racially motivated excessive force against Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Cunningham III when they stopped him for not wearing a seat belt near the Westwood campus on Nov. 23, 2013.

    Expecting such an outcome, Cunningham’s lawyer, Carl Douglas, filed a $10 million legal claim against UCLA police officers Kevin Dodd and James Kim for racial profiling and use of unreasonable force against Judge Cunningham, who is a former president of the Los Angeles Police Commission. The $10 million claim is the precursor to a lawsuit required of anyone planning to sue any government agency in California.

    http://wavenewspapers.com/opinion/article_b4f89a9c-8f65-11e3-8eac-0017a43b2370.html

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  39. The Cambridge UCLA police acted stupidly !

    Beer summit !

    Elephant Stone (5c2aa0)

  40. More at the link.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  41. The IRS can ask you what books you’re reading and force you to reveal the content of your prayers, and NSA can hijack your lovey dovey texts to your wife or girlfriend, but if a cop pulls over a Democrat black judge for not wearing his seat belt, then it’s like totally a violation of privacy.
    Or something.

    Elephant Stone (5c2aa0)

  42. Hairy Reed would be calling him “white.”

    Either that or “Uncle Tom,” or “sell-out,” or “Oreo,” or a guy with “no Negro dialect.”

    Mark (8cacab)

  43. Maybe some activists can build a robot cop with all the qualities of perfect perception and emotion and physical strength they desire. Until then, we will have to deal with the guys and gals who step into this minefield willingly.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  44. Meanwhile, psychotic Hamas is firing zillions of rockets into Israel’s population centers, and the entire world collectively shrugs its shoulders.
    Barack is too busy to shrug his shoulders, because he’s drinking beer, eating a cheeseburger, and playing billiards somewhere in America.

    It probably is Israel’s fault, anyhow.
    After all, if Israel didn’t exist, then Hamas wouldn’t need to try to wipe them off the map.

    Elephant Stone (5c2aa0)

  45. “Haiku, I was being hyperbolic. But the fact is that traffic stops are used not to enforce traffic safety but to raise revenue through fines and court fees and to snoop into people going on about their business”

    Point taken, nk. Probably somewhat dependent on the city/jurisdiction, though as they grow increasingly strapped for cash, that will be more and more the case. I know I couldn’t catch a break while driving back in ’09, but that’s more due to me driving a Daytona Blue 350Z with shiny chrome wheels at excessively high speeds.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  46. “But the fact is that traffic stops are used not to enforce traffic safety but to raise revenue through fines and court fees and to snoop into people going on about their business”

    nk – I’ll call BS on that. Revenue may be a subpurpose, but my hood is patrolled by both campus and town popo and I am a frequent witness to the lightbars and sirens coming on, usually for very flagrant safety violations by my busy intersection. I’m also close friends with a former watch commander who was instrumental in getting the police blotter published in the local weekly papers, the bastard, where you can read exactly where and what infractions people were stopped for.

    Your experience in Chiraq may be different.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  47. nk – Just looked up actual figures. Revenues from police fines represent 1% of police expenditures, .1% of city expenditures in my town. Clearly they are not meeting your authoritarian expectations.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  48. what about forfeiture monies

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  49. Mr. Feets – Forfeiture of what? I saw no PD revenue category for forfeiture.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  50. Huh
    I got a seatbelt ticket from the CHP… who noticed my medication (which usually I hide under the seat – just because) out on the floor.
    So next thing you know I am doing the DWI tests out on the side of the freeway… which I passed. I really want to know where my $150,000 is for that indignity.

    nk- I don’t know who UCLA hires, but at a bar in Laughlin, NV I met some guys who worked at Compton College who were retired LAPD. Divorced and rebuilding their retirement stash. They were in Laughlin for a convention… Caifornia campus cop convention… I’ll bet that group is a real hoot.
    Anyway that was when Laughlin had two casinos and a free boat shuttle, so things have probably changed

    steveg (794291)

  51. The LA Fitness gym is located in the block surrounded by Wilshire on the south, Westwood Blvd on the East, Gayley Ave on the West, and Lynbrook Drive on the North. Also located in that commercial hub is a Starbucks, a Chase bank, and a Bank of the West branch. It is approx 1/4-mile from the entrance to the campus at Westwood and LaConte north of the gym.
    Here’s a question:
    If the UCLA cops write a ticket in Westwood Village (City of Los Angeles) for not using a seat-belt, where is the ticket paid, and how much does UCLA get from the fine?
    Do we know a legal-beagle who may have those answers?

    askeptic (efcf22)

  52. Does “yes” mean “anal”?

    Bruxanne (02e0da)

  53. I’m going to call B.S. on this:

    He said that the officers stopped him seconds after he left a LA Fitness gym, shoved him against his car, handcuffed him and locked him in the back seat of a police cruiser until a black sergeant arrived. He alleges that the only explanation for the conduct was “his African American race,” and that he was not even close to university property.

    I don’t care if the cops showed up wearing white hoods, I refuse to believe they would be so stupid as to tell him that they were detaining him primarily because he was black.

    I think you misread that. He’s not claiming they gave him that explanation, he’s claiming that is the only reasonable explanation. In other words, it’s based on his judgment and experience. Much like when a cop says that “based on my judgment and experience I culd tell that the suspect was carrying”. In other words, bulldust.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  54. So, the upshot is that UCLA is “forced” to allocate funds in a racially discriminatory manner, due to their settling a bogus lawsuit. I wonder how many other things that they want to do can be similarly arranged.

    Exactly. Cities and government agencies have this down to a science; it’s called a “consent decree”. The EPA does it all the time. NYC is bound by some really horrible “consent decrees” that Mayor Beame consented to, or maybe Mayor Lindsay. I don’t understand why a later administration can’t go back to the court and say we withdraw our consent, and if the plaintiff really wants to pursue this nonsense let’s go to trial, but apparently they can’t.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  55. What do you know about him that makes him an Alcee Hastings and not an Antonin Scalia?

    Are you being purposefully naive? Based on statistics that indicate something like over 90-plus percent of black America leans left, do you have any reason to believe Cunningham leans right or is even an out-and-out moderate?

    OK, let’s put it this way, a******e, what do you know about him that makes him a Walter Nixon, and not a Clarence Thomas?

    Milhouse (b95258)

  56. Yeah, heaven forbid people don’t listen to cops orders. We can’t have that in a free society now, can we?

    Patrick Henry, the 2nd (ea3541)

  57. Let’s say I am a second generation white South African whose parents escaped to the states. Of course I’m a n American America so I can potentially get the scholarship? I’m sure not what they had in mind but a real possibility unless they.political cajoles to call a s9@43 a s9@43. A kind of poetic irony. Eh?

    Sean Ball (605cb8)

  58. 6. Angelo (1fc307) — 7/12/2014 @ 5:21 am

    Why were the registration and insurance papers in the trunk? Odd place to keep them.

    Maybe he didn’t want them stolen by somebody who broke a window and searched in the dashboard, or taken away and thrown out by a passenger.

    Sammy Finkelman (7a22e4)

  59. The judge in January filed a $10-million claim against UCLA for excessive force and racial profiling,

    He may really be complaing that they didn’t do profiling by age.

    Sammy Finkelman (7a22e4)

  60. OK, let’s put it this way, a******e, what do you know about him that makes him a Walter Nixon, and not a Clarence Thomas?

    Milhouse, those left-leaning biases in the corner of your mind tend to make you a fool. Try not to be enablers to them.

    Mark (8cacab)

  61. Mr./Madame Moderator please delete my comment #57 to the Cunningham article. Makes no sense unless edited. So scrap it please.

    Danke

    Sean Ball (605cb8)

  62. The judge is very reasonable guy. Mr Establishment. I bet this was a case of cops pulling over John Q Citizen for a chickenshi_ matter. An unfastened seatbelt I believe. The frustrated motorist was pissed, as many are on being stopped for what seems to be the latest revenue raising offense. (apologies to the purists who believe that every ticketable offense requires a ticket, and believe the cops never are wrong). The cops should have de-escalated the matter, but escalated it the only way some know how. In the process, they cuffed a perfectly respectable citizen, and pissed him off. I’m white so I wouldn’t be able to claim discrimination if it happened to me. And I sure as hell would not have opened my car door. But this judge probably believes he was stopped for DWB. I doubt it was that: probably just cops treating people as cops often do. That’s unfortunate. I’ve been stopped by enough good ones over the years to know the difference. Yes motorists should obey the cop and complain later. But yes also, cops have to remember they aren’t some occupying force and treat people with a bit more respect.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (329cc1)

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