Civil Rights Attorneys in Los Angeles

Were You The Victim Of A Civil Rights Violation? Our Firm Can Help

If you have been hurt in any type of incident in which your civil rights were violated, it is essential that you consult with a Los Angeles civil rights attorney. We are dedicated to advocating for our clients’ rights and ensuring that you are not taken advantage of, regardless of the size of the case.

Civil rights violations can occur in many different ways, from another person’s disregard to your safety to outright violence. This is often seen in police brutality incidents, which we take a particularly aggressive stance against.


With more than 45 years of combined experience, our civil rights attorneys are amongst the best in Los Angeles. We focus on recovering the maximum compensation on your behalf, whether through settlement or at trial, and handle every aspect of your claim from start to finish so you can focus on healing.

Talk to a Los Angeles civil rights attorney about your case or contact our firm to schedule a no-cost consultation.

Schedule Your Free Civil Rights Case Evaluation

Civil Rights Case Focus:
Mendoza v. County of Los Angeles (2018)

This is the worst nightmare of any citizen, where they’re under the suspicion that they’re being protected by law enforcement. Instead, law enforcement ends up taking their life.
Garo Mardirossian

On August 1, 2014, Frank Mendoza Sr. and his family were going about their evening when an armed criminal broke into their home while on the run from the police. Frank was shot and killed on his own porch by one of the sheriff’s deputies while attempting to flee to safety. The officer was cleared of any wrongdoing, having been found by a court of law to have been “justified in using deadly force in the defense of others.”

It was then that Garo and Armen stepped in, recovering a multimillion dollar settlement for Frank’s family.


Wrongful Death by Police

Losing a family member is devastating, but when that loss comes at the hands of those sworn to protect us, the pain can be especially tough to deal with. When somebody dies due to the actions of a police officer, not only may criminal charges be brought against him or her, but a civil lawsuit may also be filed to obtain compensation for

However, winning cases against police officers can be difficult. For instance, some data suggests that only two officers have been criminally charged after shooting a civilian while on duty since 2000. In most cases, only an experienced civil rights attorney will possess the resources and expertise to challenge the barriers to victory, including qualified immunity laws.


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Police Negligence Case Focus:
Doe v. County of Los Angeles (2019)

There were other vehicles much closer than his, but this officer was sort of a cowboy and he decided to respond with lights and sirens
Garo Mardirossian

On October 15, 2015, John Doe and his friend were enjoying a walk down Santa Monica Boulevard when they heard sirens approaching from behind.

A patrol vehicle had clipped another car in a failed passing attempt, careening onto the sidewalk and smashing into Mr. Doe and his friend at a speed of 55mph — nearly double the speed limit.

The deputy knowingly broke departmental policy when he chose to pass a vehicle to the right, which was trying to lawfully yield to the lights and sirens. The California Vehicle Code “mandates that drivers yield to emergency vehicles by immediately driving to the right hand curbline until the emergency vehicle passes. The department trains employees driving ‘Code 3’ not to pass on the right so other drivers can move to the right and follow the law.”

We reached a settlement of $42.2 million: the highest settlement in history for a single plaintiff against Los Angeles County.


Civil Rights Cases We Handle

I didn’t think police went around beating people and arresting them for nothing, but I was wrong.
Garo Mardirossian

We expect police officers to be both ethical and fair, upholding the law without causing unnecessary harm. In many cases, we even place our safety and trust in them. While the vast majority of officers are committed to protecting the public, there are those who have difficulty exercising proper control.

If you believe that you were a victim of police brutality, our Los Angeles civil rights lawyers can guide you through a lawsuit to pursue compensation and justice.

A few examples of police brutality cases we represent include:

  • Racial profiling
  • Blackmail and coercion
  • Sexual assault
  • Strip searches
  • Physical violence

Police Brutality Case Example:
Thomas v. Fullerton Police Department (2015)

Top Los Angeles Civil Attorney Garo Mardirossian with the father of Kelly Thomas, Ron Thomas

Thomas’ name has become synonymous across the country with excessive police force
The Orange County Register

On July 5th, 2011, Kelly Thomas was savagely beaten by 6 Fullerton police officers. Kelly was homeless at the time, had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and was unarmed.

Kelly was relentlessly beaten for 9 minutes and 40 seconds, including being tasered 6 times, all the while repeatedly crying out for his father, apologising profusely, and uttering the phrase that has become all too common in these kinds of incidents — “I can’t breathe.”

You have 1,500 pounds of trained cop on my one little son, but they have to bring this out like they were just so overpowered by this brute to make themselves look innocent and that they’re the victims
Ron Thomas

Five days later, his family made the harrowing decision to switch off his life support.

That was when Garo stepped in, securing $4,900,000.00 for Kelly’s family.


Police Shooting in California

The most common cause of a wrongful death by a police officer in California is from the use of a firearm. Around 250 people are shot by police each year. In 2021, there were 233 police shootings, and 238 in 2020. This state has seen 1,138 police shootings since 2015

Not only does California experience more police shootings than any other state, it also has the highest number of deadly police shootings out of all of the twelve most densely-populated states (those where the population exceeds 8 million people).


Police Shooting Case Example:
Zerby v. City of Long Beach

Hey gorgeous…I was thinking about you. Tell my son I love him.
Douglas Zerby's Last Phone Call

On December 12, 2010, Douglas Zerby was sitting outside of his friend’s residence holding the spray nozzle of a garden hose. A neighbor called the police to incorrectly report that Doug had a gun. After observing Doug for eight minutes without ever making their presence known to him, two of the officers shot and killed Doug.

The wrongful death civil suit Zerby v. City of Long Beach was first heard by a federal jury in Santa Ana in 2013.

The jury awarded $3.5 million in damages to Zerby’s son, another $1 million to his mother, Pam Amici, and $2 million to his father, Mark Zerby. In addition, the jury awarded punitive damages for Officers [O] and [S] to be personally liable for $5,000 each


Contact Mardirossian Akaragian LLP Today

Our firm offers exceptional talent, abundant resources, tireless dedication, and years of experience to give you the best chance of success in obtaining maximum compensation. Led by our award-winning attorneys, Garo Mardirossian and Armen Akaragian, we are prepared to provide you with aggressive representation and personalized legal guidance you need.

Talk to a Los Angeles civil rights attorney about your case or contact our firm to schedule a no-cost consultation.

(323) 653-6311

Schedule Your Free Civil Rights Case Evaluation

Original image from Unsplash

Other Major Civil Rights Victories in Los Angeles

Samoan Bridal Shower Police Brutality Case – Dole v. County of Los Angeles (1990)

  • Amaya v. County of Los Angeles – $3,050,000.00 verdict

  • Vanettes v. San Bernardino – $1,100,000.00 verdict

  • Valenzuela v. City of Anaheim – $13,200,000.00 verdict

  • Flores v. City of Anaheim – $1,650,000.00 verdict

  • Dyrness v. County of San Bernardino – $1,000,000.00 verdict


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