Justice Denied: North Hollywood Business Owner’s Fight for Compensation in SWAT Team Incident

LA County Business Owner Compelled to Pay for Damages Incurred During SWAT Raid

Justice Denied: North Hollywood Business Owner’s Fight for Compensation in SWAT Team Incident

Carlos Peña, a North Hollywood business owner, is expressing his frustration after a judge ruled that the City of Los Angeles will not be held responsible for compensating him for damages caused by a SWAT team nearly two years ago. Peña feels defenseless in light of this decision, which he believes is unjust and unfair.

On August 4, 2022, Peña’s print shop was targeted by a federal fugitive who assaulted him before law enforcement intervened. The chaotic scene included U.S. Marshals and the LAPD’s SWAT team, who engaged in a 13-hour standoff with the suspect. During the standoff, tear gas was used by authorities, which contaminated all of Peña’s printing equipment and supplies, including printers, ink, T-shirts, and banners.

Peña made every effort to file a claim for around $60,000 in lost equipment and wages but was ultimately denied by U.S. Marshals. This led him to sue the city for damages. However, a federal judge ruled that the government is permitted to seize property in the course of criminal investigations and therefore absolved the City of Los Angeles from compensating Peña for the damages incurred during the standoff.

This decision has had devastating consequences for Peña. Since then he has relocated his business operations to his garage and experienced an 80% decline in business due to loss of equipment and damage to reputation. He feels abandoned by the government and has lost faith in its ability to protect citizens’ rights and interests during times of crisis or emergency situations.

In conclusion, Carlos Peña’s case highlights the need for greater transparency and accountability on behalf of those affected by law enforcement actions during criminal investigations

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