Lawsuit filed over clash with Oakland schools police

A group of parents and educators filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Thursday against the Oakland Unified School District, saying they were injured during a clash wtih schools police officers while protesting campus closures.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Oakland by eight plaintiffs. John Sasaki, a district spokesman, said he would not comment on pending litigation.

At a news conference outside Oakland Tech High School, parent Saru Jayaraman said she was badly injured by police. She's still on crutches, months later.

"They took me - I'm a small person - threw me to the ground, injured my knee, folded my arm all the way back and issued pain compliance into my shoulder," Jayaraman said.

Stephen Young, another parent who is suing said, "Since then, I think the board has been extremely unrepentant at what happened. They've lied a great deal and they have blamed the victims."

During the October meeting, the district set up barricades to keep board members safe, citing protests at earlier meetings.

"The board apparently decided it didn't want to hear any more of this, so they set up barricades at a school board meeting, something of which is apparently a new first and perhaps a new low," said Dan Siegel, an attorney representing the plaintiffs.

Six people were arrested, but prosecutors declined to file charges.

Besides the district, the suit names Oakland schools police chief Jeff Godown and Sgt. Donald Perrier.

Video from the protest shows teacher Amy Haruyama being forcefully shoved by police.

"And I didn't even see him coming," Haruyama said. "So I fell, and when I saw video, I saw people's reaction. I thought I tripped on something. I didn't realize I was knocked over. Then I realized my arm was bruised."