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Violation of my civil rights

Oakland, CA |

my nephew was caught by a family friend stealing my computer and jewelry from my home. I called the police and they said i had to see him myself for them to do anything. My sister arrived and fed the police a wild story. We lived in the Oakland hills with my parents. He had not lived there for awhile and did not have a key as I had the locks changed because he was constantly stealing from me. We are Creole. Mysisters children are half white and she is very fair. The police spent a hour talking to her and told me to stay in my room . When I heard them leaving I rushed downstairs to ask the officer why he had not taken my statement before leaving. He told me to step out on my porch and then arrested me for being drunk in public. I watched from the back of the patrol car as my meth addict nephew and my sister carried my possessions out of my home. I informed the officer that those were my things and neither of them lived there. I advised him that my keys were in my purse and I would not be able to reenter . He allowed my sister to go into my purse to get my keys, then having access to my home and the rest of my property. When I returned later that night my property had been stolen and vandalized. The officer assured me someone would stay until they left.Obviously, the fact that they let them obtain my purse and therefore my spare keys made this mute. I have been robbed of all of my inheritance as well as my own jewelry and possessions. I have been fearful to pursue this and when I called the ACLU for help they told me to report this to IAD first. I am extremely leary of dealing with the police myself. Even the other officers advised me to pursue this. Racism and prejudice caused me to loose tens of thousands of dollars of jewely, antiques, electronics, cash, china, silver,pictures,and memories that cannot be replaced. I am hoping you can advise me as to an atty who will help me soon. Thank you.

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Attorney answers 2




First, you should file a complaint with Internal Affairs of the police department. Second, you have a very limited time to file a claim against the City of Oakland, Oakland Police Department, and each police officer that you specifically know of in this case, Does 1 through 100, (these are people that you find later in the case). Government Claims must be filed within 180 days, and that means weekends count, or you lose your right to sue. Once you have filed your claim you preserve your right. The City and OPD will have to either accept your claim and pay the amount of damage you are claiming, or reject your claim. Once your claim is rejected, you can then sue, but remember, you must file that claim as soon as you can on a special Government Claim form which you can get from the City of Oakland Risk Management Department. Second, talk to attorney John Burris in Oakland, as he does civil rights violations and is excellent. If you were ordered out of the house, and went outside but still on your property, you were not in public. You may have been in public view, but not in public, and you must be in public to be arrested for being drunk in public. Now, if you live in an apartment or condo where stepping outside puts you in a common walk way, then you are in public, but if it is a house, and you step outside but not on to the side walk and are still on the property, you are considered not in public and that would be an illegal arrest. I cannot stress this enough, you have a very limited window to file your Government Claim Form or you lose your right to sue, so get started immediately. Make appointments with attorneys immediately, and have all your documents copied and with you so you are not wasting time. Some of these attorneys work on a contingency basis with you paying costs, and others strict contingency. Check out the people on AVVO for a lawyer in your area, but do it now; the clock is running against you.

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