Two women who were pursued and violently attacked by Los Angeles cops last year have taken legal action. According to multiple reports, Shibani Balsaver and Sheilanee Sen filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department over the “terrifying and unnecessary” occurrence.
In February 2020, Balsvera reportedly rented a U-Haul truck to transport her possessions from Hollywood to her new home in Los Feliz. While driving from one apartment to the other, she and Sen were pulled over at a traffic stop by officers who believed they were behind the wheels of a stolen truck.
According to Balsaver’s blog post, the officers had been pursuing her car for a while, but she didn’t think anything of it until she noticed they’d made it to the block of her new home.
About 10 officers drew their guns as more police cars arrived on the scene and a helicopter flew above them. They were then instructed to exit their car and were slammed to the floor. The police held them at gunpoint with a firearm that Balsaver described as “a gun that requires a long body strap just to hold it.” Once the women were handcuffed, responding cops explained the reason for the traffic stop, and Balsaver showed them a receipt to prove she hadn’t stolen the U-Haul.
Per Basaver, the cops attempted to make light of the situation and joked that she should “demand free U-Haul services for a year.”
The U-Haul she drove had been recovered and rented several times before they rented it, but officers were unaware of the difference between stolen and recovered vehicles because they hadn’t been trained. The LAPD is now being accused of their unnecessary use of “high-risk procedures.” Basaver and Sen hope that the lawsuit can prevent officers from doing the same to others.
“The last thing we would want is for anyone else to have to go through this, for anyone else to be subjected to this, and God forbid, for something worse to happen,” Sen told ABC News.