LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Misdemeanor charges were dropped today against six USC students who were arrested when police shut down a pair of loud parties earlier this month, leading to allegations of racial profiling by officers, according to their attorney.
Attorney Fred Dorton announced the development during a rally outside the Criminal Courts Building, where the group had been scheduled for arraignment, NBC4 reported.
Officials for the City Attorney’s Office could not be reached for immediate comment.
The students were arrested early May 4 when police responded to reports of noise from two parties near Hoover and 23rd streets. Some witnesses contended police used excessive force and engaged in racial profiling by arresting people at a party attended primarily by black students, but making no arrests at a party across the street attended primarily by white students.
Los Angeles Police Department officials said the complaints were being investigated.
According to the LAPD, officers received complaints about two loud parties around 2 a.m. May 4. They responded to the first party and warned participants to turn down the music and reduce the noise, police said. Officers then walked across the street to the second party to issue the same warning, but while they were there, the noise level from the first party rose again, police said.
Officers returned to the first party to cite the organizer, but some partygoers began throwing bottles and debris at the officers, prompting a larger police response, according to the LAPD.
Six people were arrested.
Some of the arrested students told NBC4 today they were glad to put the situation behind them.
“Just like I don’t want them (police) to look at me like a criminal, I don’t look at them all like they’re racist or they’re evil,” student Jason Sneed told Channel 4. “You know, there are some good people that actually want to save this city.”
Student Debbie Rumbo told the station the students were trying to ensure something positive comes out of the situation.
“We’re not just students that are angry and that are ranting about how LAPD needs to do this or that,” she said. “We’re students that are actually trying to … facilitate meetings aimed at bettering that. And I think that that’s the most important aspect that I’ve learned.”
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