(Baldwin Park, CA) The law firm of Lively & Ackerman, of Temecula, CA, has filed a formal governmental claim against the City of Baldwin Park, its Mayor, and Police Department. Richard D. Ackerman of the firm represents Murrieta senior citizen Laura “Dottie” Dalton. According to the claim, “This governmental claim relates to an incident that took place on May 14, 2005, near the Danza Indigenas monument at the Baldwin Park Metrolink Station. The Claimant is a senior citizen who attended a peaceful protest against racism engaged in by the City of Baldwin Park through its support of a monument which denounces white and other non-Latinos. Specifically, there was a protest and counter-protest that took place on May 14, 2005. The issues that evoked the controversy specifically arise from the fact that the tax-supported monument has quotes that read “It was better before they came ,” and “This land was Mexican once, was Indian always and will be again.” The Mayor of Baldwin Park was present in support of the monument and the protesters who support the continued display of these racist, separatist and discriminatory comments.”
The claim goes on to state that, “Mayor Lozano appeared to support racist comments made by protesters against Claimant, and endorsed discriminatory comments made by his fellow protesters. Other City Council members were also present at the protest, which eventually turned into an anti-white mob. [ . . . ] Furthermore, many of the attendees at the event were known to be here in the United States illegally. Instead of enforcing the law against their illicit presence, and thereby reducing the risk of a large mob mentality, the members of the City Council present at the event actively discouraged any enforcement of the law and actually incited protesters to attack those who were near Claimant. After inciting the crowd, members of the crowd did actually start throwing heavy objects toward Claimant. Claimant LAURA “DOTTIE” DALTON was hit by a full bottle of water that was intentionally hurled at a high velocity at the Claimant at about 1:00 pm.” The medical records of Ms. Dalton indicate that she suffered a brain hemorrhage as a result of the foreseeable violence escalated by the Mayor of Baldwin Park.
The claim seeks one million dollars in compensation for medical bills, future medical expenses, and punitive damages. The claim also requests that the City of Baldwin Park eliminate the racist comments set forth in the challenged monument. The City must respond to the claim in a manner prescribed by the California Government Code.