NEW ORLEANS -- Community activist Sandra Hester has filed a massive complaint in federal district court against the city, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the New Orleans Police Department, NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas and others.
The complaint is connected to her arrest at a community budget meeting in August 2012. Hester was escorted out of the meeting after she blamed racism for the city's problems and called the mayor and people at the meeting "racists."
One of the complaints alleges that excessive force was used against her that day.
“When we got to Central Lock-Up, they decided to employ some torturous tactics to get me inside Central Lock-Up, and by the time I got in my shoulders were almost dislocated, my wrists were swollen,” Hester said at a press conference in front of federal court Monday.
The complaint also claims violations of her constitutional and civil rights.
“We believe Mrs. Hester’s allegations are unfounded. Since 2010, Mayor Landrieu has hosted more than a dozen community budget meetings that were attended by thousands of residents across the city. These meetings have been productive, providing invaluable citizen input on budget priorities,” Garnesha Crawford, communications director for the Mayor's Office, said.