Testimony concludes in lawsuit over 2007 May Day melee

In this May 1, 2007 file photo, Los Angeles Police Metro Division officers advance on a crowd during an immigration rally in MacArthur Park.
In this May 1, 2007 file photo, Los Angeles Police Metro Division officers advance on a crowd during an immigration rally in MacArthur Park. AP Photo/Chad K. Uyeno, File

Testimony has concluded in a civil lawsuit three journalists brought against the city of Los Angeles and its police department. The journalists seek to hold the city responsible for police actions during a May Day rally three years ago.

One witness who worked with Channel 11 reporter Christina Gonzalez told jurors about stories the two collaborated on that were never completed. Another man, a friend of Patti Ballaz, said the camerawoman was an outgoing person who could move heavy furniture before May of 2007; now, he says, she's antisocial and not very talkative.

Gonzalez, Ballaz and KPCC reporter Patricia Nazario argue that the police and the city are responsible for injuries the women sustained during an immigration rights rally in MacArthur Park. Courthouse News Service reports that Nazario said in court that she couldn't work for over a year following the May Day melee, in which she says police struck her twice with a baton.

In earlier testimony, one policeman testified he pushed – but didn't hit – Ballaz with his baton, and said reporters blended in with people who threw rocks and other objects at cops. Attorneys for the city of L.A. tried to establish that pre-existing medical conditions affected two of the plaintiffs before the clash with police. The trial's presiding judge said he expects to finish this case this week.

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