Bay Area Law Firm Files Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputies
San Francisco, CA – A prominent Bay Area law firm, known for representing the people, made a significant announcement on Thursday regarding the filing of a civil rights lawsuit against five Alameda County sheriff’s deputies. The lawsuit alleges a shocking series of events involving a hospitalized woman who was reportedly subjected to physical abuse while awaiting a crucial CT scan for a potential head injury. The lawyers at Pointer & Buelna LLP presented compelling evidence during a press conference, showcasing footage from body cameras that captured the disturbing scenes.
The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in federal court, recounts the harrowing incident that unfolded on August 9, 2022. The plaintiff, identified as Malia Ashad, had been attending a civil case hearing at the Alameda County Superior Court’s Hayward Hall of Justice. Suddenly, an individual against whom Ashad had filed a restraining order approached her and began relentlessly striking her in the face and head with a cellphone. In an attempt to defend herself, Ashad grabbed the attacker’s hair, prompting a courtroom deputy to intervene.
According to the complaint, the deputy forcibly twisted Ashad’s thumb and contorted her arm into an unnatural position, all while placing her in handcuffs. As the altercation spilled into the hallway, Ashad lost her balance and fell, striking her head on a table. The court filing states that she began bleeding and subsequently experienced a seizure, losing consciousness. Another deputy arrived at the scene and promptly informed Ashad that she was under arrest.
Medical personnel swiftly transported Ashad to Kaiser Permanente’s San Leandro Medical Center emergency room, where a CT scan was ordered. Shockingly, one of the deputies expressed frustration over the potential delay caused by the scan, informing Ashad that she would not receive it. Handcuffed to the hospital bed, Ashad protested, leading another deputy to violently grab her by the throat and pin her down. In an appalling turn of events, she was then subjected to savage blows to the head, causing her to lose consciousness once again.
The distressing sequence of events did not end there. As Ashad was placed in a wheelchair, the struggle continued, with one deputy launching a forceful punch directly at her head. The impact was so powerful that it toppled the wheelchair, causing Ashad to strike her head on the floor once more. The lawsuit alleges that Ashad suffered physical injuries, emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of income, medical expenses, fear, trauma, and humiliation as a result of the incident.
Ashad’s lawsuit accuses the deputies of employing excessive force, a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. The complaint asserts that the defendants’ conduct was willful, malicious, intentional, deliberate, or in reckless disregard of Ashad’s constitutionally protected rights. The five deputies named in the complaint are Ryan Connolly, Collin Lenahan, Robinderpal Hayer, Ruth Jones, and Matthew Simon, all identified as members of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.
During the press conference, the lawyers emphasized the outrageous nature of the deputies’ conduct and stressed that Ashad was not the instigator but rather the victim of the courtroom attack. They expressed particular concern over the defendants’ attempt to override medical decisions at the hospital, despite lacking the necessary medical licenses. Adante Pointer, Ashad’s lead lawyer, rhetorically questioned how the deputies could live with themselves, arguing that verbal de-escalation should have been their primary approach, rather than resorting to violence against a handcuffed mother of two children. Pointer characterized the defendants’ behavior as thuggish and called for their appearance in court while restrained.
According to Pointer, criminal charges against Ashad for assaulting an officer were ultimately dismissed. However, there have been no reported disciplinary actions against the deputies involved. In response to the released video clips, which provide only a partial depiction of the incident, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office released a statement asserting that they do not represent the entirety of what transpired. The office maintains that the complainant received appropriate medical treatment throughout the incident.
NBC Bay Area’s Jodi Hernandez contributed to the comprehensive coverage of this story, shedding light on the troubling case.