Beatriz Paez, the school teacher who was attacked by a still unnamed United States Deputy Marshal last Saturday in South Gate, California for recording a punitive raid on a legal defense fundraiser for a Mongols Motorcycle Club member intends to file a federal civil rights lawsuit according to her attorney Colleen Marie Flynn.
“There was some police activity going on,” Flynn told NBC. “My client was in no way interfering with that police activity. As long as you’re not interfering, you absolutely have a right to film police in public.”
War On The Mongols
The punitive raid was planned and supervised by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and was intended to extra judiciously punish the Mongols for the death of Swat officer Shaun Diamond last October. Diamond was participating in one of seven simultaneous Swat raids on homes occupied by Mongols when he was shot in the back of the head by a round that penetrated his Kevlar helmet. Those raids, putatively to serve search warrants for a gun, were also carried out to punish members of the motorcycle club for being Mongols. A Mongol named David Martinez, who was inside his home when Diamond was shot on the front porch, has been charged with murder in the case. Police have told numerous witnesses that last Saturday’s raid, like a raid on a Mongols party last January, was intended to use police powers to punish members of the club and its associates for Diamond’s death.
Paez was recording Saturday’s raid when the still unnamed Marshal who was wearing body armor, carrying an M-16 rifle and who towered over Paez, ran after her as she tried to escape, ripped her phone from her hands, spiked, stomped and kicked it, then told the terrified woman, “There’s your phone.” The Marshall destroyed Paez’ phone in order to conceal from the public the blatantly vindictive and illegal nature of the ATF’s secret war on the Mongols.
The attack on Paez was itself caught on video and uploaded to YouTube. That video has been viewed almost 800,000 times since Sunday.
Yesterday, Congresswoman Janice Hahn, who represents Paez and the neighborhood where the raid took place, called for outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the attack.
“As the Congresswoman who represents the residents of South Gate, I was alarmed and upset by the actions of the law enforcement officer captured on the video,” Hahn said via press release. “My constituent Beatriz Paez was exercising her constitutional rights when she filmed what she saw in her neighborhood,”
“I condemn the actions of the U.S. Marshal who violently and improperly responded by destroying Ms. Paez’ property, terrifying her and denying her rights…. We must hold all who are sworn to protect and serve accountable and send a clear message that they are not beyond the law.”