ACLU files lawsuit against 4 DC officers

- A lawsuit has been filed by the ACLU against four D.C. police officers. It stems from an arrest that took place last November involving a transgender woman who was accused of assaulting a neighbor. However, she claims she never did.

The ACLU says police entered Lourdes Ashley Hunter’s apartment and made an arrest without a warrant. Hunter, the Executive Director and co-founder of the Trans Women of Color Collective, says police responded to her apartment while she was having a dinner party for transgender activist who were in town for a White House event. She says she was wrongly accused of assaulting a neighbor and said police had no right to arrest her.

“When they came to my home and said they were responding to an assault, I was shocked because I know there was no assault, and so I closed my door," Hunter explained. "They knocked again and there were three of my neighbors standing on the landing, and one of the neighbors pointed at me after the police asked them who assaulted you – and when they pointed at me, I was like, 'I assaulted you?' And I was like I’m not dealing with this and I went back into my apartment and that's when four cops began to follow me into my home and grabbed me by my neck, by my arm, put handcuffs on me, then attempted to drag me out."

The incident was caught on Facebook Live and the recording first shows officers standing at Hunter’s doorway holding her arm for several minutes and asking for her to come outside. 

Hunter says during the arrest, she suffered a pinched nerve to her arm and she has had back pain since the arrest.

“D.C. law is clear that it is unlawful for the police to arrest someone without a warrant for a misdemeanor that they have not seen unless the person is likely to escape, to destroy evidence or to hurt someone,” explained Shana Knizhnik with the ACLU.

Police could not officially comment on the pending litigation, but a source familiar with the situation told FOX 5’s Matt Ackland that the video has been reviewed and some of the officers were wearing body cameras. The source also says Hunter was arrested because officers believed she had committed an assault and officers were afraid she could do it again.

Hunter says she did nothing wrong and did not commit an assault. She is seeking a judge and jury to decide the case.

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