A Berkeley police officer has been slammed with a lawsuit for racial profiling and assault. According to court documents obtained by Berkeleyside, Brian Lindhurst Jr. is reportedly suing Sgt. David Marble, an officer who allegedly attacked him and yelled racial slurs after he left a friend’s house in Antioch in 2022. In the suit, Lindhurst, who is Black, also accused Marble of brandishing his gun and punching him.
As per the lawsuit, Lindhurst claimed that the incident occurred around 2:15 a.m. on July 16, 2022, as he was leaving a friend’s home that he frequently visited without having any “negative encounters with anyone in the neighborhood.”
When he was getting into his car, Marble allegedly began yelling at him, demanding to know why he was in the area, the complaint states.
Marble, who was off duty at the time, and his dog blocked, Lindhurst from driving off and began swearing and shouting racial slurs. The lawsuit alleges that the officer was “extremely aggressive” and “clearly intoxicated” when he accosted Lindhurst.
At one point, the off-duty official allegedly yelled, “You all do not belong here, n*ggers do not belong here,” according to Lindhurst’s complaint. Attempting to de-escalate the situation, Lindhurst and his friend, who was not named in the suit, tried to explain to Marble that he was just visiting his pal who lived in the area, but the officer allegedly responded with violence. According to the suit, Marble charged at Lindhurst and punched him “in the right side of his face.”
“Mr. Lindhurst, who feared that he would be attacked again, prepared to call 911,” the suit states. After he attacked Lindhurst, the officer walked away with his dog and allegedly returned seconds later with a semi-automatic handgun, aiming it at Lindhurst.
“Sergeant Marble responded, ‘I am the Law,’ invoking his status as a law enforcement officer and implying that he was the authority figure in the situation and that Mr. Lindhurst needed to obey him,” according to the complaint.
His friend, who was also Black, tried to de-escalate the situation, again, begging Marble to lower his gun. “After several minutes of pleading, Sergeant Marble yelled more profanities at the two men but finally lowered his gun and walked back inside his home,” the lawsuit says.
Lindhurst allegedly suffered bruises to his face and emotional distress from the incident, according to the complaint. He’s suing Marble on allegations of negligence, assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment and violations of state and federal protections.
Antioch Police investigated the incident, but the legal process did not go far.
According to Berkeleyside, in August 2022, Antioch police investigated the incident and “referred misdemeanor charges” of battery and exhibiting a concealable weapon against Marble. The charges were sent to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, but the case was never filed. “The case was reviewed by our office but not filed due to insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt,” public information officer Ted Asregadoo told Berkeleyside via email.
The city has yet to respond.
John Burris, an attorney for Lindhurst, said that the officer’s abusive behavior was “a classic case of racial profiling.”
“These young men had done nothing wrong, one of the young men lived in the neighborhood,” Burris added. “The conduct itself was not surprising to me, it’s not a one-off.”