Three women arrested during the October 2011 police raids on Occupy San Diego protesters and left in police vans for up to six hours without access to restrooms continue their legal fight with the city.
October 28 will mark five years since San Diego police officers, with help from personnel from the county's Office of Emergency Services, raided the Occupy San Diego protest headquarters at the San Diego Civic Center and arrested 51 people. Fourteen female detainees sat chained inside police vans without access to restrooms. Despite their pleas, many were forced to defecate and urinate inside the vans while in restraints, as first reported in a November 9, 2011, article in San Diego CityBeat.
Seven women later filed lawsuits for false arrest, false imprisonment, failure to supervise the raid, destruction of private property, and malicious prosecution. Three women settled their lawsuits in December 2013 for $5200 apiece; the city also paid their legal fees.
During a closed-session hearing on June 30, attorneys for the case will update city councilmembers on the three remaining lawsuits filed in December 2012.
According to court documents, officers were ill-prepared and disorganized in the hours before the raid.
"Many if not most of the arrestees were being processed by members of the San Diego Police Department who were not involved in the actual arrests. Booking forms these officers were given on the arrestees were only half filled out, leaving the property sections to be filled [out] by others. A San Diego Police Department lieutenant was tasked with signing off on the arrests, creating additional delays when the lieutenant was not on site and had to be located….
“By this time, some of the arrestees had been waiting on the van/bus for nearly four hours. Although inmates were waist chained, they were able to drop their pants and urinate while still on the van/bus. Female inmates on van #24255 also urinated on their vehicle but the fewer number of inmates made for less of an impact. The amount of urine passed by the prisoners ran through the vehicles to cracks, holes or seams, into the cargo bays of the bus and ultimately, onto the ground."