June 28, 2016
Teen sues Pomona police over altercation at county fair By Justin Kloczko Daily Journal Staff Writer

A teenager who says he was subjected to an unprovoked beating by police at the Los Angeles County Fair when he was trying to film his father being taken into custody filed a lawsuit Monday in superior court against the Pomona Police Department.

The 16-year-old, Christian Aguilar, was filming an incident between his father, Ignacio Aguilar Jr., and Pomona officers on Sept. 16, 2015 when he was repeatedly beaten by officers with a baton, struck in the throat multiple times, and threatened with a Taser before his arrest, according to a complaint filed by Geragos & Geragos. Aguilar v. Pomona Police Department (L.A. Super Ct., filed June 27, 2016).

"All he did was have his phone out and they didn't like it," said David Gammill, plaintiffs' attorney and associate at Geragos & Geragos.

According to the complaint, Aguilar's cousin was being charged with public intoxication when his father intervened, and was then accused of public intoxication also Christian began filming the scene when an officer pushed him into a fence and then spun him around and hit him, the teenager's complaint said. Three more officers joined, and Christian was charged with resisting arrest, according to the complaint.

A bystander, Robert Hanson, who began filming the sequence of events when he noticed an officer grab Christian by the arm, was also arrested with "bogus charges of being drunk in public and interfering with an investigation," according to the complaint. The complaint also alleges that Hanson's cell phone was taken and police submitted an altered version of his recording to the district attorney's office which does not show officers initiating the attack.

Gammill said that the police accusations against Christian and his father had been dismissed and that Hanson was never formally charged.

The complaint says three officers stated in their police report that Christian swung and missed immediately before their version of the video starts. "The full version, supplied by Mr. Hanson, directly contradicts these false accusations," the complaint reads.

Gammill said Christian has sustained emotional and physical damage as a result of the event, including nerve damage.

Neither the Pomona police department nor the police union responded to requests for comment.

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