Michelle Michlewicz and Antone Austin have sued the city of Los Angeles in federal court, accusing the arresting officers of using excessive force and other officers of failing to intervene to stop their arrest, violations of the Unruh and Tom Bane Civil Rights Acts, and battery and negligence.
The officers approached Antone Austin without giving any explanation, the officers are immediately heard telling Austin to turn around; he is heard asking them why.
“Because I told you to,” an officer replies. Austin, 42, then tells them that he lives in the building, to which the same officer replies, “OK, man, I don’t know who I’m looking for.”
Within seconds, the officers become aggressive with Austin and yank his arms behind his back, slamming him face-first against a wall and attempting to handcuff him. He then begins to yell to his girlfriend, Michelle Michlewiz, and screams “Help!” repeatedly.
“You’re looking for the people upstairs,” he shouts.
Michlewiz, 30, then appears in the footage as she tries to intervene. Her robe blows open, and her naked body is exposed on the street before she’s pushed to the ground. Court documents note a request to have the nudity redacted or blurred.
“I just got tackled to the ground,” she is heard saying, as Austin says that his rights have been violated.
The 911 caller appeared on the scene and told the officers that Austin was not the suspect, who is now confirmed to have been a white man, but they continued with the arrest.
Austin and Michlewiz were arrested and held for several hours. He was charged with resisting arrest and assault on a police officer, though the latter charge was dropped, KABC reported; Michlewiz was charged with interfering in the arrest, which could lead to a four-year prison sentence.
The couple paid a total of $57,000 in bail, according to a lawsuit filed against the city of Los Angeles last year, with Michlewiz’s being set at $50,000. Jasmyne Cannick, a spokesperson for the couple, told Oxygen.com on Friday that the City Attorney’s Office won’t respond to their requests for a status update on the charges.
Be careful out here in these interracial relationships. These white male officers are feeling attacked by your love for one another and are having a hard time dealing with change.