A 46-year-old African American UCLA facilities employee arrested for obstruction and resisting arrest by campus police last week is accusing the department of racial profiling and violating his civil rights, it was reported today.
Claudius E. Gaines III was arrested after being stopped on Strathmore Drive shortly before midnight last Wednesday as he drove home from his shift at the university, the Los Angeles Times reported.
His attorney, Carl Douglas, told The Times that officers had no reason to stop the truck. When Gaines questioned why he was being stopped, Douglas said, the officers called for backup and he was threatened with being pepper-sprayed.
Gaines, a probationary employee with the facilities department at UCLA, is concerned that the incident could result in his losing his job, Douglas said.
The university issued a statement disputing the attorney’s account, saying Gaines refused to comply with the officers’ requests to provide them with his driver’s license and proof of registration during the traffic stop.
“Officers then asked him to get out of the car, a request Mr. Gaines again repeatedly refused, escalating the situation and leading to his arrest for obstructing and resisting an officer,” the statement said.
The arrest comes after a legal settlement in July with a prominent African American judge over alleged mistreatment and racial profiling by the university’s police officers during a traffic stop. In the settlement, the university agreed to pay $500,000, including $350,000 for scholarships, and to provide additional training to officers.
Douglas represented the judge, David Cunningham III, according to The Times.