Statement on Civil Rights during Black Lives Matter by Joel Siegal, Civil Rights Attorney, Oakland, California:
The theater was filled with patrons of different ages, genders, and races. Shortly after the movie began, Sacramento Police Officer Tim Martin, entered the theater and began asking only the Black patrons to show their tickets. 12-Year-Old Syiet and 14-Year-Old Katherine were doing nothing to draw attention to themselves, other than being Black in America.
On June 10, 2017, 12 year old Syiet and 14 year old Katherine, both Black, attended a birthday party. The plan for the birthday party was for the 8 girls in attendance, with adult chaperones, to go to dinner and then see the movie “The Mummy” together. Afterward they were going to have a sleepover.
One of the adult chaperones purchased the movie tickets for the girls and distributed them at the restaurant. After dinner, the girls walked into the movie theater (The Regal Notomas Marketplace). The girls used their tickets to enter the lobby. While in the lobby, the girls played games and bought snacks while they waited for the movie to start.
The girls then walked to Theater 11, where The Mummy was showing. Syiet showed her ticket to the door attendant and was allowed entry. Katherine realized she lost her ticket while they were playing in the lobby, but was allowed entry when she showed her receipt for the ticket. The girls took their seats.
Officer Martin approached the birthday party and ordered Syiet and Katherine to show him their tickets. Despite having done nothing wrong, 12-Year-Old Syiet complied and showed officer Martin her ticket. Katherine attempted to comply by telling Officer Martin that she had lost her ticket, but that her receipt was in her backpack and that the attendant had allowed her in. Yes, she had a backpack with her, because she was a child.
Instead of allowing Katherine, a 14-Year-Old Black girl, to retrieve her receipt from her backpack. Officer Martin grabbed Katherine’s arm, yanked her into a standing position. He then twisted her arm and slammed her face into the concrete floor. He then sat/laid on her while he handcuffed her. For clarity sake, this is a grown adult man slamming a child at a birthday party into concrete; putting his full adult weight on her. Over a receipt.
Officer Martin then struck Syiet, a 12-year-old girl, so hard that he fractured her sternum. A grown man, hit a 12-Year-Old girl so hard that it broke her bones.
Due to their injuries and being terrified, neither child was able to attend the sleepover portion of the birthday party.
How many Black children need to have their bones broken and their faces slammed into the concrete before the Sacramento Police Department are held accountable? Or any other Police Department? This is why we support Black Lives Matter. Racism is a horrific problem and we all have an obligation to stand up and fight for what is right.
At Siegal & Richardson, as an experienced Civil Rights Attorney Oakland CA, we say it’s time the police were held accountable for terrorizing our children. And we intend to do just that.
So we’re suing the Sacramento Police Department and Real Natomas Marketplace on Syiet and Katherine’s behalf. Perhaps that will help teach businesses, like Reagal Natomas Marketplace that you cannot racially profile guests.
And perhaps a large judgment will help the Sacramento Police Department realize that you cannot treat any American this way, especially two little Black girls at a birthday party. We look forward to seeing Officer Martin in front of a Sacramento Jury. We hope that the Jury is as kind to him financially as he is to children physically.