Former basketball star Jamaal Wilkes has filed a $250,000 claim against Los Angeles, claiming mistreatment by police he alleges was racially motivated, Wilkes' lawyer said Thursday.
Wilkes has said the officers told him they stopped him in his car, handcuffed and questioned him because his vehicle registration was about to run out.The claim comes amid a rising demand among civic groups for the resignation of Police Chief Daryl Gates.
Wilkes' lawyer, Leo Branton, said Wilkes, a 6-foot 9-inch former player for the Los Angeles Lakers, was not charged with anything. In a statement released by Branton, Wilkes said, "I had disobeyed no traffic laws and had done nothing to cause the police to stop me other than the fact that I am an African-American."
Former baseball player Joe Morgan, who is also black, was awarded $540,000 in damages last February after he said he was grabbed by the neck and thrown to the floor by a police officer who accused him of being a drug courier.