Bipolar woman awarded $3.2M in LAPD lawsuit

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES

Allen was shot and hit with a stun gun by LAPD officers during a wild episode of paranoia in Los Feliz three years ago.

"I didn't know they were police officers, I believed they were assassins," Allen said. "I was under paranoid delusions at the time."

Allen suffers from bipolar disorder. Even though she doesn't deny attacking one of the officers with a wooden stake, a federal jury this week awarded her $3.2 million, having determined that LAPD officers were negligent, malicious and used excessive force that night.

Police Chief Charlie Beck was unavailable for an interview, but issued a written statement supporting the use of force in this case.

"She attacked them with a sharpened construction stake," he said. "I don't expect my officers to be hurt or killed by someone before they act. I stand by the actions of our officers completely."

However, Allen's attorney, Martin Stanley, said officers were never in danger.

"She's a harmless woman, 5-foot-3, 220 or 230 pounds. One of the officers was 6-foot-2, 260," Stanley said. "She could have easily been tackled."

The Allen case is far from singular. Los Angeles has a long list of million-dollar payouts due to police-related lawsuits.

According to the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, the city's taxpayers paid out $20.4 million in the 2011-2012 fiscal year due to police lawsuits. It was $23.4 million in the 2010-2011 year, and $31.9 million in 2009-2010.

Allen said she plans on taking her award and moving to Florida.

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