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L.A. Immigration Rights Rally Trial To Begin



EDITOR’S NOTE:

WHAT:

     

Jury selection will begin on Thursday in KTTV FOX 11 News camera operator Patricia “Patti” Ballaz’ trial against the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in Central Civil West Courthouse, 600 South Commonwealth Avenue, Los Angeles, CA. before the Hon. William F. Highberger in Department 307. Opening statements will begin immediately after the jury is seated. Ms. Ballaz is represented by Browne Greene and Robert D. Jarchi with the Santa Monica, CA. law firm of Greene Broillet & Wheeler (www.greene-broillet.com).

         
       

Ms. Ballaz alleges that she sustained severe physical and emotional injuries after being repeatedly battered by members of the LAPD without justification while on assignment for KTTV to film the May 1, 2007 Immigration Rights rally at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, CA. The trial began June 15, 2010 and is expected to last seven days. Ms. Ballaz’ case was consolidated with other similar lawsuits and is known collectively under the lead case name of Thomas Frederick Mecozzi vs. City of Los Angeles, and Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BC377597.

         
       

“Patti Ballaz was simply doing her job filming the 2007 Immigration Rights Rally taking place at MacArthur Park for KTTV FOX News,” stated Browne Greene. “She did nothing to warrant the violent assault upon her person and her psyche at the hands of the LAPD. That attack has forever changed the quality of Patti’s life. Our goal is to see to it that the police are held accountable for their actions and that justice is served.”

         

WHO:

      KTTV FOX 11 co-workers Patti Ballaz (camera operator) and Christina Gonzalez (reporter) were members of the news media lawfully covering the May Day Immigration Rights rally in Los Angeles’ MacArthur Park on May 1, 2007. Ms. Ballaz was wearing press credentials and operating a large, 70-80 pound television camera when, and without any justification, she was allegedly struck repeatedly and pushed to the ground by baton-wielding LAPD officers. She further alleges that LAPD officers verbally threatened her at gunpoint because she was a member of the news media and because of her Hispanic/Mexican ancestry, and that they also shot weapons at or near her body.
         
        As a victim of excessive and unnecessary force by the LAPD, Patti Ballaz suffered severe injuries, among others, to her hands, legs, neck and back, necessitating four surgeries since the incident; and she will require neurotomies for the rest of her life. She also suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. Due to her multiple injuries and surgeries since the incident, Ms. Ballaz has not returned to work nor will she be able to return to her job as a cameraperson.
         

WHEN:

     

THURSDAY, JUNE 17, 2010. JURY SELECTION WILL BEGIN AT 9:00 AM. OPENING STATEMENTS WILL START AFTER THE JURY IS SEATED.

         

WHERE:

      The Hon. William F. Highberger
        Central Civil West Courthouse, Department 307
        600 South Commonwealth Avenue
        Los Angeles, CA.
         

NOTE:

     

Trial hours are 9:00 AM - Noon; 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM. The courtroom is dark on Wednesday, June 16, 2010.

         

Plaintiff Patricia Ballaz is represented by Browne Greene and Robert D. Jarchi with the Santa Monica, CA. law firm of Greene Broillet & Wheeler (www.greene-broillet.com): Tel: 310-576-1200.

Defendant City of Los Angeles is represented by Jessica Brown, Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office; Tel: 213-978-7038.



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