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Glendale Police officer wins civil rights case

Darleene Barrientos

A federal jury decided Friday that Glendale Police Officer Kim

Lawrence did not violate the civil rights of an African American

woman when she searched her at the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport

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in 2001.

The jury was the second one for the case, after the first jury

deadlocked on a verdict and mistrial was declared, city attorney Ann

Maurer said. The second trial started Wednesday.

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The jury was asked to determine whether Lawrence violated the

constitutional rights of Cherie Craft, a Boston-based child and

family services consultant, when Lawrence stopped her because she

“fit the profile” of someone who could be carrying drugs.

Craft’s lawsuit alleged Lawrence searched Craft and her carry-on

bag without consent and without probable cause, a violation of her

constitutional rights.

Lawrence had asked permission to search Craft and her bag,

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according to the lawsuit. Craft, who said later she felt intimidated

to comply, agreed to the search.

“Officer Lawrence was doing her job that day. She wasn’t doing

anything improper,” Maurer said. “She didn’t act on the plaintiff’s

race. Obviously, the jury agreed.”

The case had the misfortune of being filed after the Sept. 11

terrorist attacks, said Robert A. Seeman, Craft’s lawyer. After the

terrorist attacks, security at airports across the country was raised

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significantly.

“This was a post-9/11 trial dealing with the search of luggage and

persons at the airport.” Seeman said.

Craft, who was present in the trial only for her testimony, could

not be reached for comment Friday.


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