Kerry Vine, a former senior security patrol officer for UCPD, filed a lawsuit against the UC Board of Regents and two UCPD officers after he was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon while working as a private guard at a protest before Milo Yiannopoulos’ campus appearance for “Free Speech Week.”
On Sept. 24, 2017, Vine was working as a Star Protection Agency security guard for a KPIX news crew when he was allegedly unlawfully grabbed and subjected to “needless and excessive” force before being arrested by two UCPD officers. The arrest was made because Vine was carrying a concealed weapon — one he claims he has the legal right to bear.
According to the suit, Vine was tasked with providing security to reporter Katie Nielsen and camera operator Brian Yuen, both of whom were covering the scheduled appearance of Yiannopoulos on campus. The suit also states that Vine was not posing a threat to anyone’s safety or acting in an aggressive or violent manner.
The suit said Vine’s possession of a concealed weapon was lawful, because he is a retired peace officer and holds a valid permit issued by the state of California. Vine’s lawyer Sanjay Schmidt added that it is very likely that other officers witnessed Vine’s arrest, but Schmidt has yet to identify specific individuals.
In addition to suing the Board of Regents, Vine is suing the arresting officers, UCPD Lt. Joey Williams and UCPD Sgt. Thomas Wing, whom Vine alleges used “excessive force.” Vine argues he is entitled to reasonable costs and attorneys fees.
About 1:30 p.m. the day of the protest, Vine claims he was approached by Williams and Wing without warning. The officers proceeded to grab his hands, and in the process, severely injured his shoulder, according to the suit. After he was handcuffed, the officers allegedly “paraded” him across campus, where he was visible to everyone present.
Vine is therefore suing for battery and assault, as well as for his “false arrest and imprisonment.”
Although Vine has received medical treatment, he alleges that the actions of Williams and Wang continue to have significant effects on him. According to the suit, the repercussions for Vine include continued pain and suffering, permanent physical injuries, emotional distress, ongoing hospital bills and expenses tied to loss of income.
In the suit, Vine claims the officers acted negligently by allegedly “breached their duty of care” to Vine, which included using only reasonable force, refraining from “escalating a situation where force is used” and investigating situations further before arrest.
“UCPD’s response to this event was lawful and appropriate under the circumstances,” said campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore in an email.