By Renee Lewis
Samuel Arrington, 52, who is homeless and suffers from bipolar disorder, was sitting on a chair under a beach umbrella at Venice Beach in Los Angeles on Aug. 7, 2014, when police officers used excessive force against him and committed an abuse of power, Nazareth M. Haysbert, one of Arrington’s lawyers, told Al Jazeera.
Haysbert said he will soon file a federal lawsuit on behalf of Arrington against Los Angeles and the individual officers present during the incident. He is also calling for the Justice Department, which provides the LAPD with funding, to investigate how the department is spending that money and whether the officers are being provided the training they need to handle situations with mentally ill individuals. Haysbert added the officers’ actions may amount to violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“Sam was a happy-go-lucky man,” Haysbert said. “He’s gone from that to a man who sees beasts in the faces of people.”
“They have to compensate him for what they did to him,” Haysbert added. “I don’t know how long it will take to get him back to where he was … but they’ve got to do their best to make it right and that’s why we’re here — not just for Sam but for every homeless or mentally ill person.”