PASADENA, CA. (KCBS) – Two California women say moving day turned into a nightmare when they found themselves facing police with guns drawn. They claim they were wrongfully targeted, now they’re suing.
“It was terrifying. Probably the most afraid I’ve been in my life,” said Sheilanee Sen.
Shibani Balsaver, a film producer, and Sen, who works in community development, had rented a U-Haul to help move Balsaver into a new house from Hollywood to Los Feliz when they were pulled over by the Los Angeles Police Department. The women recall wondering what they had done. When they parked the U-Haul in front of Balsaver’s new home they saw at least 10 officers, guns drawn, and a helicopter flying above.
“I thought I was going to get shot. I really thought that that was the end,” Balsaver recalled.
The duo was ordered to get out of the U-Haul with their hands behind their heads and walk toward the officers backwards, then they say they were slammed to the ground. “I felt his knee in my back and on my neck and pushed me down into the pavement, pushed my face down. It was really scary,” Balsaver said.
It wasn’t until they were in the back of the police cars they say they were told by LAPD they had been pulled over because they thought the U-Haul had been stolen. Balsaver told the officer a receipt for the U-Haul, which she had rented earlier that morning, was in her purse. Later, the women were let go.
The incident happened February of 2020 but their attorney Brian Olney says this never should have happened, and has now filed a law suit against the police department. “The courts have made it very clear but the LAPD refuses to listen. They know what the law is, they’re sworn to uphold it but they made a deliberate decision to break it,” he said.
When reached for comment, the LAPD said they cannot comment on this matter at this time.