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Case 3:15-cv-01799-MMC Document 45 Filed 10/28/15 Page 1 of 9

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DENNIS CUNNINGHAM, State Bar #112910


BEN ROSENFELD, State Bar # 203845
LAW OFFICE OF DENNIS CUNNINGHAM
115 Bartlett Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Tel: (415) 285-8091
Fax: (415) 285-8091
denniscunninghamlaw@gmail.com
ben.rosenfeld@comcast.net
Attorneys for Plaintiffs

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

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NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

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San Francisco, Ca

LAW OFFICE OF DENNIS CUNNINGHAM

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The MILES FAMILY: Ms. MONIQUE


MILES, for herself and as Mother and
Guardian of her minor children, Romelle
Brown, Ajani Brown, Jordan Brown, and
Jayden Brown; and, CHELSEA MILES,
PAMELA MILES and ERIN MILES,

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THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR


VIOLATIONS OF CIVIL RIGHTS AND
OTHER WRONGS1
JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

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Case No. 15-cv-01799-MMC

Plaintiff,
v.
The CITY OF OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA,
San Leandro Police Officers and Supervisors
Sgt BRIAN ANTHONY, Sgt BOB
SANCHEZ, and Sgt CHRIS ALBERT, and
Oakland and San Leandro Police Officers and
Supervisors JOHN/JANE DOEs Nos. 4-25,

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Defendants.

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This Third Amended Complaint (TAC) is submitted pursuant to the Courts Order of
October 14, 2015, dismissing the Second Amended Complaint with leave/direction to amend.
New material is added at 17-20; other, lesser changes are made throughout.
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T HIRD A MENDED C OMPLAINT

Miles, et. al. v. City of Oakalnd, et. al., Case No. 15-01799-MMC

Case 3:15-cv-01799-MMC Document 45 Filed 10/28/15 Page 2 of 9

INTRODUCTION

1. This case arises from an overly-aggressive, very poorly run, combined police action in

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four children, aged 15, 10, 5 and 4 years oldwere rousted from their home at gunpoint by a
large force of uniformed officers, who were conducting a raid on a separate household, with a
separate address, downstairs. But the plaintiffs were taken and held outdoors in police custody,

down the street from their home, while a number of officerswith no warrant or other grounds

or authority whatsoever entered and ransacked their home along with the target house

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downstairs.

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San Francisco, Ca

LAW OFFICE OF DENNIS CUNNINGHAM

Oakland, in April, 2013, in which an entire African-American familyfour grown women and

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2. Despite the fact that the person apparently being sought on a warrant by this large armed
forcewho advanced on the house all shouting his namecame outside immediately, and
surrendered, the plaintiff family were held there in the cold, with some of the children only
partially clothed, for several hours. During that time it was possible to see through a window

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that the police were inside their home, upstairs, but none of the officers would respond to their

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questions about why the police had gone inside or what they were doing. When they were

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allowed to return home, they found their house a shambles: closets, drawers, boxes, etc. were

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emptied, and contents strewn on the floor, doors were broken, and the place was a mess.
3. The family, all of them, were outraged and traumatized by this ridiculous, unlawful

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invasion, and being held like criminals in front of the whole neighborhood, and there have been
serious lasting emotional effects on the children, Romelle Brown in particular. They seek
compensation for this gross and heedless violation of their most basic rights.

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JURISDICTION & VENUE

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4. This Court has jurisdiction under the Federal Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S. 1983 et seq,

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and 1988, and the Judicial Code, 28 U.S.C. 1331 and 1343. Venue in the Northern District

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T HIRD A MENDED C OMPLAINT

Miles, et. al. v. City of Oakalnd, et. al., Case No. 15-01799-MMC

Case 3:15-cv-01799-MMC Document 45 Filed 10/28/15 Page 3 of 9

of California is proper because plaintiffs and one or more defendants reside in the District, and

because the events in controversy occurred in the District.

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5. Plaintiffs. Plaintiff MONIQUE MILES is the mother of Romelle Brown, aged 15,
Ajani Brown, 10, Jordan Brown, 5, and Jayden Brown, 4, minor children, and of CHELSEA

MILES, who is grown, and was 7-8 months pregnant at the time. Chelsea Miles and PAM

MILES, who is Monique Miless mother, also live in the house, and they were also present,

along with ERIN MILES, who is Moniques cousin, at the time of the raid. Plaintiffs are all

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U.S. citizens and residents of Oakland, California. All of them, four Miles women and four

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San Francisco, Ca

LAW OFFICE OF DENNIS CUNNINGHAM

PARTIES

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Brown children, were removed from the home and held in custody by the defendants, as
aforesaid.
6. Defendants. Defendants JOHN/JANE DOES Nos. 4-25 are natural persons and

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members of the Oakland and San Leandro Police Departments who participated in the acts

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complained of herein, and whose true names are unknown at this time and will be substituted

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when learned. San Leandro Police Department Sergeants Brian Anthony, Bob Sanchez, and

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Chris Albert, (substituted after the original complaint for JOHN DOEs Nos. 1-3), supervised
and directed various San Leandro officers named herein as DOEs herein, in carrying out or

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helping carry out the raid and Constitutional violations against plaintiffs.
7. At all relevant times, the individual defendants, and each of them, worked and/or resided

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within the Northern District of California, and were acting under color of state law, within the

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course and scope of their duties as peace officers.

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8. The City of Oakland is a municipal entity incorporated under the Laws of the State of
California. Plaintiffs are informed and believe that the Oakland Police requested help from San
Leandro in this one of more than a dozen police raids around Oakland on this date.
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T HIRD A MENDED C OMPLAINT

Miles, et. al. v. City of Oakalnd, et. al., Case No. 15-01799-MMC

Case 3:15-cv-01799-MMC Document 45 Filed 10/28/15 Page 4 of 9

STATEMENT OF FACTS
(Common to All Causes of Action)

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Apartment No. 19 at 1485 E. 22nd Street, in Oakland, California, with her children and other

family members, including her four young children, Romelle Brown, Ajani Brown, Jordan

Brown and Jayden Brown; her grown daughter, Chelsea Miles; and her mother, Pamela Miles.

Moniques cousin, Erin Miles, was also present, visiting.

10. At or about 6:30 p.m. that day a large number of Oakland and San Leandro police

officers approached the house. The building is set on a hillside, and the front entrance

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downstairs is at the bottom of a set of stairs which lead up to what was then the plaintiffs

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apartmentvisibly and obviously a separate premises.

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San Francisco, Ca

LAW OFFICE OF DENNIS CUNNINGHAM

9. On or about the evening of April 24, 2013, plaintiff Monique Miles was at home, in

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11. As the police first approached, several of them were shouting out the name of a man
they had apparently come to apprehend, who promptly emerged from the downstairs dwelling,
surrendered, and was taken into custody.
12. At or about the same time, a group of officers carrying carbines, shotguns and/or rifles,

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approached the building where plaintiff Pamela Miles and a neighbor were sitting outside

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talking. These five or six officers, defendant members of the San Leandro Police Department,

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pointed their long guns at plaintiff and her companion as they sat talking, and ordered them to

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go inside.
13. Moments later, however, there was loud pounding on the door of the Miles residence,
and San Leandro officers and DOE defendants with guns in their hands pushed inside, and

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immediately and loudly ordered everyone out of the house. The protests of the adult plaintiffs,

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Ms. Monique Miles in particular, were ignored by the officers. The entire family group, four

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adults and four childrenincluding two who were very young and in nightclotheswere

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hustled out the door and down the stairs by the squad of San Leandro officers to a corner a half

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T HIRD A MENDED C OMPLAINT

Miles, et. al. v. City of Oakalnd, et. al., Case No. 15-01799-MMC

Case 3:15-cv-01799-MMC Document 45 Filed 10/28/15 Page 5 of 9

a block away, where Oakland and San Leandro officers and DOE defendants detained them for

the next two hours or more.

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inside their apartment, upstairs. But questions about this were stonewalled by the defendant
officers who were holding them in custody.
15. Plaintiffs were held this waysimply standing on the sidewalk in the chilly evening

airfor two or three hours, while the officers guarding them remained studiously taciturn.

Then an order was given, andwith no explanation of the reason for their actionsthe police

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left.

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San Francisco, Ca

LAW OFFICE OF DENNIS CUNNINGHAM

14. After a time, plaintiffs could see through a window that officers were moving about

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16. When the family went back inside their apartment, they found it a complete shambles,
throughout. Closet doors were broken and broken off, and the contents pulled out and spread on
the floor. Cabinets and bureau drawers were emptied onto the floor, shelves were cleared,
furniture was turned over; and many items of property were ruined.

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17. Defendant San Leandro Sergeant Brian Anthony, with the assistance of Sergeants Bob

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Sanchez and Chris Albert, at least directed and commanded the squad of San Leandro officers

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to conduct a purported safety sweep of plaintiffs residence and thereby roust them from their
home, trash their home, and detained them, if not also participated in one or more of these

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violations. For instance, plaintiffs are informed and believe, and thus allege, that Defendant
Sgt. Sanchez directly participated in unlawfully removing plaintiffs from their home without

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their consent. Further, these sergeants reasonably knew or should have known their subordinate

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officers were violating plaintiffs civil rights by doing do, as well as by drawing guns on

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plaintiffs, including by direct observation, and should havebut failed totake action to stop

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these violations. The defendant sergeants are thereby liable to plaintiffs for supervising,
directing, acquiescing in, ratifying, and/or failing to prevent and abate the misconduct of their
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T HIRD A MENDED C OMPLAINT

Miles, et. al. v. City of Oakalnd, et. al., Case No. 15-01799-MMC

Case 3:15-cv-01799-MMC Document 45 Filed 10/28/15 Page 6 of 9

subordinate officers, as well as to whatever extent they directly participated themselves in the

actions complained of. Plaintiffs are informed and believe that these sergeants ordered the

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occupants out immediately at gun point, escort them down the street and detain them there on
the corner, and then go inside and search the housewhich these defendant sergeants knew
or should have known would be ransacked in the process.2

18. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and thus allege, that the raid on the downstairs

apartment was part of a large Oakland Police Department sweep of the City, for which the

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Oakland Police asked for and obtained the assistance of the San Leandro Police and SWAT

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San Francisco, Ca

LAW OFFICE OF DENNIS CUNNINGHAM

squad of San Leandro officers to go to the non-targeted upstairs apartment, order all of the

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Team, and that officers from both departments participated both in rousting plaintiffs out of
their home, searching, and ransacking it and in detaining them at the post down the street.
Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and thus allege, that San Leandro officers first came to their

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home with at least one gun drawn and ordered the family out, and then held the family down the

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street during the search and trashing of the familys home. Since plaintiffs were not present

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during the search and trashing, they cannot presently say exactly which defendant officers were

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responsible, and therefore plead in the alternative that Oakland and San Leandro police officers
were both responsible. Nevertheless, plaintiffs gathered at the time and continue to believe that

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San Leandro officers were primarily responsible for searching and trashing their home.

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Plaintiffs, through their undersigned counsel, refrain at this time from naming the
individual rank and file police officers and SWAT team members responsible for the offenses
complained of in reliance on an understanding reached with counsel for the San Leandro Police
defendants that at least two of the named sergeantsBrian Anthony and Bob Sanchezwould
take responsibility for the decisions about how to proceed during the raid. Plaintiffs reserve the
right to amend their complaint, as necessary, to allege that one or more of the individual DOE
officers played any further particular role in the offensive conduct as the facts of the case
develop through discovery.
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T HIRD A MENDED C OMPLAINT

Miles, et. al. v. City of Oakalnd, et. al., Case No. 15-01799-MMC

Case 3:15-cv-01799-MMC Document 45 Filed 10/28/15 Page 7 of 9

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their downstairs neighbor sought by police or anyone else in that apartment, except as
neighbors, and assert that defendants could not reasonably have believed otherwise.
20. The City of Oakland, by and through its Police Department and the DOE police officer
defendants named herein, is liable to plaintiffs for coordinating, directing, and participating in

the unlawful and overbroad raid, and for suborning the unlawful entry and search of plaintiffs

home and plaintiffs unlawful detentions. Having received no discovery from the City of

Oakland to date, plaintiffs are presently unable to identify the individual Oakland Police

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supervisors and officers responsible for the wrongs complained of, but intend to do so, and to

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San Francisco, Ca

LAW OFFICE OF DENNIS CUNNINGHAM

19. Plaintiffs deny categorically that they had any relevant association or connection with

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substitute their true names for JOHN/JANE DOEs, as the facts of the case develop through
discovery.
21. All the plaintiffs, two and a half years later and more, remain traumatizedand the

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adults are obviously still incensedby this preposterous, baseless, callous and illegal raid,

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ouster and detention, in flagrant violation of their basic rights. Romelle Brown, in particular,

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was impacted by the experience; he has been very pre-occupied and un-communicative since,

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and withdrawn, and his schoolwork has suffered. The effects on the younger children are
unfathomable, of course, and likely to last for many years if not a lifetime.

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CAUSE OF ACTION: ONE
42 U.S.C. 1983 (Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution)
Unreasonable and Unlawful Search and Seizure
All Plaintiffs vs. All Defendants

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22. Plaintiffs incorporate by reference each of the above paragraphs as if fully set forth here
again.
23. Plaintiffs and each of the complain against the defendants for violating their civil rights,

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in undertaking the police actions described above, under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S.

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Constitution, by operation of the federal Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1983 et seq., and that
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T HIRD A MENDED C OMPLAINT

Miles, et. al. v. City of Oakalnd, et. al., Case No. 15-01799-MMC

Case 3:15-cv-01799-MMC Document 45 Filed 10/28/15 Page 8 of 9

they suffered emotional and pecuniary damages and losses as a result, entitling them to relief

and judgment against defendants.

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24. Plaintiffs presented no threat whatsoever to police who came to the building on the
occasion of this raid. Defendants entirely lacked probable cause, reasonable suspicion,
exigency, consent, or any excuse, justification, immunity, or other grounds, for drawing

weapons on plaintiffs, rousting them from their home, entering, searching, and trashing their

home, and detaining them on the street.

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San Francisco, Ca

LAW OFFICE OF DENNIS CUNNINGHAM

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25. At all relevant times herein, the individual defendants Oakland and San Leandro Police
defendants, including John/Jane Doe defendants, were acting in the course and scope of their
duties as sworn police officers employees of their respective agencies, and under color of state
law.
26. Defendant City of Oakland is jointly liable with the individual defendants for

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maintaining one or more unconstitutional policies, practices, or customs, and/or for acquiescing

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in and/or ratifying the heedless raid and detentions of plaintiffs described herein, and thereby

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substantially causing the deprivations of plaintiffs Fourth Amendment rights, under the law of

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Monell v. Dept. of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978) and its progeny.

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PRAYER

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27. WHEREFORE, plaintiffs, and each of them, seek and demand (1) monetary relief and

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judgment against defendants, jointly and severally, including nominal, presumed,

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compensatory, and punitive damages, in such amounts as shall be determined by a Jury;

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(2) Attorneys Fees under 42 U.S.C. 1988; (3) costs of litigation; and (4) such other and

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further relief as is just and appropriate in the premises of this Civil Rights case.

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T HIRD A MENDED C OMPLAINT

Miles, et. al. v. City of Oakalnd, et. al., Case No. 15-01799-MMC

Case 3:15-cv-01799-MMC Document 45 Filed 10/28/15 Page 9 of 9

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JURY DEMAND
28. Plaintiffs request and demand trial by jury as to each and every cause of action and
factual allegation contained herein.

Respectfully Submitted,

DENNIS CUNNINGHAM
BEN ROSENFELD

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DATED: October 28, 2015


By: s/ - Dennis Cunningham
DENNIS CUNNINGHAM
Attorneys for Plaintiffs

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San Francisco, Ca

LAW OFFICE OF DENNIS CUNNINGHAM

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T HIRD A MENDED C OMPLAINT

Miles, et. al. v. City of Oakalnd, et. al., Case No. 15-01799-MMC