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A Black Los Angeles Superior Court judge has filed a complaint against the University of California, Los Angeles police squad for excessive force after a stop for a traffic violation. Judge David S. Cunningham III  was stopped over the weekend leaving a gym where he says a UCLA officer roughed him up for not wearing a seat belt.

Judge Cunningham was driving his Mercedes after working out at a nearby L.A. Fitness when UCLA cops pulled him over for the violation. Though his attorney Carl Douglas, Cunningham said he just buckled his seat belt when he was stopped and approached by a pair of officers. After providing his driver’s license, the judge was asked for his registration and proof of insurance.

While reaching for the documents, according to the complaint, an officer began to yell at him not to move and then a prescription bottle of high blood pressure medicine rolled out. One of the officers asked the judge if he was running drugs, alleges the complaint. Cunningham, frustrated by the confrontation, reportedly left the vehicle and attempted to go to his trunk when Officer Kevin Dodd slammed him against his car.

Officer Dodd handcuffed Cunningham and placed him in the back of their vehicle. The arrival of an African-American Los Angeles Police Department sergeant was telling, as he allowed Cunningham to go free after about 10 minutes. Douglas raised the possibility of race being at issue at the stop, stating in a Los Angeles Times report, “”Do you think this would have happened if he was a white judge?”

Cunningham is not filing his complaint based on racial profiling, but instead the excessive force used to detain him before the arrival of the LAPD. Cunningham has served in his Superior Court post since 2009 after being appointed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ironically, Cunningham also served as the president of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners as well.

UCLA released a preemptive statement Sunday regarding the stop and arrest, but fell short of offering any declarative statement at the time.

Watch Judge David S. Cunningham III discuss international law below:

Black L.A. Judge Files Excessive Force Complaint Against Police was originally published on

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6 thoughts on “Black L.A. Judge Files Excessive Force Complaint Against Police

  1. Camella Jenkins on said:

    Judge Cunningham I want to know why didn’t you have your seat belt on in the first place? If someone showed up in your courtroom for not wearing a seat belt, you would fine them. And why did you go for your trunk?

  2. Kilo Perkins on said:

    Stories like this one are why BAW is bad for blacks all over. They don’t use common sense. First they point out black judge and white officer. And not until a black officer arrived was this able to be resolved. This whole story was loaded with racism and it wasn’t from the people the story was about. It was the writter who obviously is a racist. Then the story does nothing to help my people.
    The writer should have pointed out that when a officer of any color pulles you over you do exactly what they tell you to do. Yes sir. And no sir. don’t do anything else than what the officer tells you. Don’t get out of your car then try to move to your trunk. You will be roughed up by the cop. They have a dangerous job and they want to go home to their families just like we do. If a bottle of pills falls from your clove box. Let that officer collect that evidence. They will look silly in court when it is your name on that bottle with your perscription from your doctor.
    From this story the judge was wrong. He should have known better. You don’t argue with the police on the street. You do it in court.
    BAW should be ashamed for not giving us the proper information on how to protect our selfs. According to BAW you should be aggitated when a white police pull you over. BAW will have you talk back to the police and fight a little. Just so they can have another story.

  3. my co-worker’s half-sister makes $72 an hour on the computer. She has been out of work for 9 months but last month her paycheck was $18380 just working on the computer for a few hours. check it out ……..

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