City of Carlsbad sued over alleged assault by police officers

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KABC) -- A mother of two was allegedly assaulted by Carlsbad police officers, and it was all caught on cellphone video.

Now, her attorney is filing a federal lawsuit against the city.

Cindy Hahn says four officers were negligent and violated her civil rights. She accuses two of those cops of battery. They are shown in the video putting her in handcuffs.

Hahn says she's innocent as she's pinned on the ground. The officer tries to cuff the unarmed mother, while two more officers arrive as backup. Other people are watching, including her two children.

Bystanders question the police. Another woman tries to intervene and is pushed back by one of the officers. One of them punches Hahn in the face and tells her to stop resisting.

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Hahn was charged with resisting arrest and battery, but the charges were dropped after the district attorney saw the video.

"Apparently the city of Carlsbad thinks that this is appropriate behavior because when we showed them the tape they just double downed on it, which is shocking to me. Anybody I've shown this tape to has been appalled," said Mark Geragos, Hahn's attorney.

Geragos says it started when Hahn and her kids were on their way back from a birthday party and stopped to use a restroom. There, she asked a police officer a question, and he told her to mind her business. She called the department to complain.

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Minutes later, she says that officer stopped the van she was in for a seat belt violation and told her to get out of the van. That's when Geragos says the attack happened.

The city of Carlsbad issued the following statement:

"The city of Carlsbad looks forward to bringing this lawsuit before the proper judicial authorities as soon as possible. We are prepared to provide a complete and detailed account of the facts of this incident in a courtroom, not in the media."

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Geragos says the officers should have been disciplined.

"If this goes on with a unarmed mother of two, God forbid what happens when there is somebody who's perceived to be a threat," said Geragos.

The lawsuit is asking for a jury trial and unspecified damages.
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