Off-duty military police officer sues LBPD, saying officer tackled him with no warning

A military police officer from Las Vegas has sued the Long Beach Police Department alleging he was off duty and trying to help police in Downtown Long Beach when an officer tackled him without warning.

Austin Norman claims the officer slammed him into the pavement, leaving him with a fractured right shoulder and permanent nerve damage, according to the lawsuit filed July 2 in Long Beach Superior Court.

Long Beach City Attorney Charles Parkin declined to comment because Long Beach hasn’t yet been served with a copy of the lawsuit, he said.

Norman claims he was acting as a good Samaritan during the incident on Aug. 4 last year.

He was in the Pine Avenue entertainment district around 12:45 a.m. when he saw two police officers in a physical altercation with someone “who appeared to have a position of physical advantage over one of the officers,” according to the lawsuit.

“At the time he intervened, [Norman] did not pose any risk of danger to either officer while he attempted to assist the other officer and pull the assailant off the disadvantaged officer,” the lawsuit says.

When a third officer arrived, he tackled Norman, the suit alleges.

The lawsuit accuses the officer and police department of negligence and violating Norman’s civil rights.

It asks for unspecified damages to cover Norman’s medical expenses and to compensate him for any pain and suffering.

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Jeremiah Dobruck is the breaking news editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram. He lives in Torrance with his wife, Lindsey, and their two young children, Paul and Simon.