Breaking: South Gate Officer Awarded $1.8 Million
May 17, 2007
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury Thursday awarded three Latino police officers and a Japanese American officer $10 million in a racial discrimination suit against the city of South Gate and the city’s chief of police.
South Gate Police officer Dave Matsukiyo was awarded $1.8 million. He and three fellow officers sued the city and Police Chief Robert Todd for retaliating against them because of their support of former Police Chief Rick Lopez.
A flyer distributed by supporters of Chief Todd advised the minority officers to “look over your shoulder. You never know what can happen in this violent world in which we live.”
The four also alleged that racism toward minority civilians was rampant in the department in 2002-03. A car carrying blacks was referred to by some officers on the mostly white force as “a box of raisins,” and Latino civilians were called “Title 8s,” which refers to alien immigrants, according to trial testimony.