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Airbnb guests plan to take legal action against California police

When a police officer does not act appropriately towards potential suspects, they could be guilty of police misconduct. Police misconduct can take many forms, including the use of excessive force toward a potential suspect and unlawfully detaining a potential suspect for an extended period of time. An incident involving four people in California received national attention recently, when the women were surrounded by officers outside of the Airbnb they were renting. Three of the four reners, all of whom are African-American, are planning to take legal action against the police.

A neighbor of the Airbnb called police to report a burglary after she saw four people she did not know loading luggage into a vehicle in the driveway of the Airbnb. Six officers and a helicopter surrounded the area and the four people drove away. Officers then spoke to the people in the vehicle and contacted the homeowner of the property, and determined that they were Airbnb guests.

According to police, the whole encounter lasted 22 minutes and the officers detained and released the four people, without incident. Officers said that no restraints were used and that the renters were allowed to exit the vehicle during the encounter. The officers also claimed that the dispatch system of the helicopter and securing a perimeter are all part of the standard procedure for in-progress felonies.

However, some of the renters disputed the police statements. One renter said that the renters were detained for 45 minutes and surrounded by seven police cars and that officers demanded they put their hands up and accused them of lying about the Airbnb. Some renters believe that the neighbor's call and police behaviors were dictated by the fact that they were black.

It can be difficult to prove police misconduct and a thorough investigation is required in order to have a successful case against the officers who mistreated you. If you are a victim of police misconduct, you are advised to consult with an attorney to help evaluate your claim.

Source: ABC News, "3 black Airbnb guests who were questioned by cops plan to take legal action against California police department," Ilana Schwartz, May 8, 2018

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