By Erika Aguilar | 89.3 KPCC
A woman who was body-slammed by Los Angeles police officers after being stopped for a cell phone violation has settled an excessive-force claim against the department for $550,000, her attorneys said Wednesday.
Michelle Jordan, then 34, sued the city of Los Angeles two years ago after the LAPDofficers threw her to the ground, twice, when she back-talked and cursed them during a traffic stop in Tujunga.
After LAPD brass reviewed videotape of the incident, one of the officers involved in the case was suspended and the other was fired.
Los Angeles city attorneys and Jordan officially settled the lawsuit in September, according to court documents.
“I don’t think anything that she did justified what happened to her,” said her attorney Robert Marcereau.
On August 21, 2012, officers Christopher Hajduk and Christopher Carr pulled over Jordan for allegedly using her cell phone while driving at the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Saluda Avenue. The two vehicles pulled into a parking lot of a fast food restaurant with a surveillance camera watching over.
Jordan was asked to stay inside her car but got out anyway, Marcereau said. When she refused to sit back in the car, officer Hajduk told her she was resisting arrest and threw her to the ground, Marcereau said.
The video shows the officers handcuff and pick her up from the ground. She is leaned against the police car.
Her attorney Sy Nazif said Jordan got sarcastic with the officers and called one of them an expletive. That’s when the second take down happened, he said.
“Clearly not wise but certainly not something that … gives a cop license to body slam a young lady,” said Nazif.
Jordan was booked for resisting arrest and released. But the charges were later dropped. Nazif said he believes if there hadn’t been any video of the take down, Jordan would have been prosecuted.
“Ms. Jordan is fortunate that a security camera caught the incident on video,” he said.
At the time, Beck released a statement saying he had “serious concerns” based on the officers’ statements and the video.
Officer Christopher Hajduk, who had been with the LAPD for 22 years, was fired. Officer Carr, a rookie at the time, was suspended and ordered to go through additional training, Nazif said.
The LAPD captain of Foothill Division was demoted for not adequately responding to the incident. He eventually resigned.
The L.A. City Attorney’s office and the Los Angeles Police Department declined to comment.