Protester Sues Anaheim Officers Involved in Previous Lawsuits

Brown holding the greatest protest sign in Anaheim history!
Richard Brown beat criminal charges last October related to his arrest while protesting the Anaheim Police Department on July 29, 2012. Brown and his girlfriend Kristine Hedley are now suing officers for civil rights violations alleging excessive force and false arrest. In a complaint filed two years to the date after the protest, at least two of the Anaheim cops named as defendants are no strangers to allegations of misconduct.

Brown and Hedley held signs outside the Anaheim police department. Roughly 400 demonstrators turned out that day. Police responded with a heavily militarized presence. The two began walking up Broadway en route to a vigil for Manuel Angel Diaz on Anna Drive. The 25-year-old was shot and killed by Anaheim police earlier that month sparking days of unrest.

An equestrian unit followed Brown and Hedley. They were with a group of 50 to 60 protesters. The lawsuit alleges that Anaheim officer Richard Olmedo "suddenly turned his horse and sliced into the peaceful group of pedestrians on the sidewalk." Brown asked how long he'd be blocked off for. Olmedo raised his finger to his lips to shush him.

"Olmedo falsely claimed Mr. Brown touched his horse's head and bridle," the complaint continues. He alerted officer Kasey Geary of the supposed offense. An arrest team of seven cops, including Phillip Vargas, went into action when Brown and his girlfriend reached the intersection of Broadway and Anaheim Boulevard.

Brown posed with a Mickey Mouse sign reading "Hey Kids! Check out my military police," before police moved in. The lawsuit claims officers Vargas and Chad Meyer threw him against a building wall. Another officer is alleged to have punched him several times before Brown was cuffed. Vargas is also alleged to have slammed Hedley to the ground.

Brown beat criminal charges for obstructing a police horse. Anaheim's City Attorney's office declined to press charges against Hedley.

Olmedo and Vargas have been named in brutality claims and lawsuits before. In an October 2, 2009 incident, a claim alleged Olmedo used excessive force and falsified a police report. Responding to the call, Olmedo and his partner arrived near the mobile home park residency of James Robert Reade. Olmedo struck the man when he opened his patrol car door and later tackled him to the ground.

In a police report, Olmedo wrote that Reade (Coincidentally a Weekly Scariest People 2012 Honoree) had "extremely dilated" pupils and dry cracked lips during an encounter outside his mobile park home. Officers feared a drugged up Reade posed a threat and arrested him. There was only one problem. The OC Crime Lab drug tests came back clean. The city settled the claim a year later for $50,000.

Phillip Vargas is one of five officers named in an ongoing wrongful death lawsuit against the department. Caesar Cruz, 35-years-old, was killed in a hailstorm of bullets outside a Wal-Mart in Anaheim on December 11, 2009. Vargas is noted as one of the officers involved in the fatal shooting.

Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @gsanroman2

Follow OC Weekly on Twitter@ocweekly or on Facebook!

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
Ro Ar
Ro Ar

No police a.k.a. PEACE officer should have military-grade anything


isn't it time to take our "policing" duty back.........we have established police to protect and maintain an orderly society......duties we as individual citizens are unable or unwilling to we pay tax monies to fund this "service".....the service we are receiving is not what we contracted for.....many of our police are over reactionary bullies who feel threatened and respond by being bully identify and remove these people.......relieve them of there fears for there safety......and take it back........all in favor?

Fabian Martinez
Fabian Martinez

Stories like these piss me off not because of these stupid pigs. It angers me because we as a society allow it to happen. We all have access to social media and could easily start a peaceful revolution. Instead we're all gazing down at our cell phones distracted by the latest celebrity gossip and fashion trends.

Grey Matters
Grey Matters

the police state is gonna keep flexing and the people will continue to allow as much as the wealthiest and most secure parts of the nation allow until... knock knock

Brainwashed_in_church topcommenter

For every one instance of police brutality, there are 69 hundred instances of scumbag "citizens" screwing society. Very, very few people who are minding their own business and not looking for trouble and not doing anything illegal are ever hassled by cops.


@Brainwashed_in_church dude your avatar is the Germs logo, ask yourself if the late Darby Crash would agree with your asinine comment, because I doubt he would!

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault