Civil Trial in Alleged DHS Police Brutality Case Begins
INDIO--Desert Hot Springs police are in the hot seat tonight, facing a potentially expensive legal drama.
Attorney's for the plaintiffs say police used excessive brutal force against their clients.
The civil case dates back to 2005, officers called to help after a car accident, but plaintiffs say instead of helping they were pepper sprayed and pushed around.
7 years ago the Moore family say they were the targets of excessive and brutal force by Desert Hot Springs police. Now they want justice in a civil trial that could cost the city big.
"This isn't about money," said attorney for the plaintiffs Jerry Steering. "Unfortunately they can't go slash the tires of DHS police cars and they can't brutalize the officers nor would they, so the only thing they're relegated to is suing because they want vindication, they want justice. They want somebody to say you were wronged."
Moore and his family sat quietly in court today, just steps from one of the officers they say attacked them.
"The other officers then beat up Mr.Moore, pepper sprayed him and slammed him on the ground." Steering said.
Jerry Steering is one of the attorney's representing Moore and the 10 other plaintiffs, he says officers sadistically pepper sprayed his clients and the whole incident was caught on video
"It's unmistakable, undeniable, undesputible, video evidence of some of these young ladies had been pepper sprayed and youths had been pepper sprayed and beat up and smashed into walls, even the pregnant lady was smashed into the wall," Steering said.
The complaint filed in court tells a different story, saying on july 16, 2005 officers responded to a car accident outside the home of Edward Moore Jr. When they arrived officers say they were met by a verbally abusive and hostile moore.
Attorney's for the police officers and the city declined to comment.
Opening statements are expected to begin Thursday afternoon.
Steering says at the time of the incident 8 of the 23 officers employed by the Desert Hot Springs police department were under investigation for civil rights violations against civilians.
A federal trial for those accusations begins next month in Los Angeles.
As for Mr. Moore, he's a former city employee who once accused Desert Hot Springs of racial descrimination.