Pismo Beach police hit with racial discrimination suit

March 10, 2015

lady-justice2Grover Beach resident Rayvell Snowden Jr. is suing the Pismo Beach Police Department in federal court, alleging officers racially discriminated against him in a 2012 burglary case.

Officers arrested Snowden, a 44-year-old African-American man, following a burglary of about $12,000 in high-end purses. Prior to arresting him, police kicked at his door, held him at gunpoint and ransacked his home, Snowden alleges.

Snowden spent three days in jail prior to posting $1,600 bail. The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office later filed felony burglary and grand theft charges against him.

But, less than a month after the arrest, prosecutors dismissed the case against Snowden, citing insufficient evidence.

Snowden’s attorney, Patrick Fisher, alleges that police had no probable cause to make the arrest. They merely saw him smoking a cigarette at an apartment complex they were investigating — and he was black, Fisher said.

A police report on the burglary indicated that store employees said they witnessed three black men snatch the purses. Officers made two other arrests in the case, and prosecutors eventually dropped charges against those defendants, as well.

City Attorney David Fleishman said the city had just received the lawsuit and he had not yet read it. But, Fleishman said the allegations have no merit. [Tribune]

The police department conducted a good investigation based on the information they had, Fleishman said. He added that Snowden filed an unsuccessful claim against the city in 2012.


I thought that there was something called, um what was it, oh yeah, a warrant!!!

Aren’t the cops not supposed to be just bust down doors and come on it and do unlawful searches and seizures?

They didn’t see him running down the street with a bunch of purses. They saw him outside smoking a cigarette.

When they come in to his apartment, I guess they can just look ANYWHERE? Warrants are usuallly specific.

This man’s civil rights were violated. He spent 3 days in jail. WOW. Imagine if you were just sitting at home, minding your own business, when the police decide you are a criminal and do that to you. People think it could never happen, but I have 20 network crime TV channels that says it can and it DOES.


well said rich. as for bs007, “so sick of the black thing”. wow, let me take a guess, you are white and live in a predominantly white neighborhood. this may come as a new concept to you as well as others in san luis Obispo, but people of color have been facing prejudice and discrimination for quite some time. try to imagine yourself born of color. you don’t have to worry or even think of half the things a black person might, even now days. for example, the thought of your unarmed white kid getting shot by a black police officer I guarantee you has never crossed your mind nor will it. and the ones as you say involved with the police know thug style?? so your saying all black people involved with police are thugs? does that include black Pismo police officers as well? n all white people involved with police are considered what? now lets reverse the situation, lets say you are a black man, complaining about “so sick of the white thing”,(granted doesn’t obviously fit the society stereotype) just sounds to me its people like you that hold us back as a civilization its fn 2015. its called equality.


It sounds like attorney Fisher is an ambulance chaser. So sick of the Black thing. Seems like the ones that are involved with the police certainly know Thug style. Just say’in


bsdetective007 says: “So sick of the Black thing.”

Oh you poor thing, how long have you been oppressed by “the black thing”?

Rich in MB

Check the prisons my friend…..

Josh Payne

“So sick of the Black thing.” Really? “Thug” is the new way to say the “n” word. I smell a racist!


Wow, clearly you’ve lived a privileged white life and are clueless about “the black thing.” Get a life and quit spewing your racist venom at the world.


Patrick Fisher is worse than an ambulance chaser, better make sure to get everything in writing. He’s a real piece of work, out for himself.

Rich in MB

This may not be an issue of Race, but a simple and all too common issue of Police acting like the Gestapo!

Kick in a Door, ransack a citizens home and then cover you ass by arresting without any evidence and have it dismissed later when the smoke settles.

That’s thuggery 101 Folks, not Racism it happens to whites as well.


Sounds like they were legally there investigating a major crime. Don’t know the details but forced entry comes with that territory I’d think.


Wait till they kick in your white door sometime. Then sing your song about legitimacy.


From the story it doesn’t sound like they had sufficient evidence for entry, but maybe they did. I dont know, i didnt read the pr. What i do know is that it has always been a slippery slope when leos are allowed to kick in doors just because they think you did something but don’t have sufficient evidence to justify entry.


What if the police had a search warrant to search the suspect’s house? What if they saw evidence in plain view? You are going on the statement of an attorney that is suing the City of Pismo, so of course he is going to use inflammatory language. It is just a shame that you bite full hook, line, and sinker and brand the police as acting like the Gestapo. Oh, wait this is CC, the home of the anti-police!

Rich in MB

When police act like thugs…someone in this community has to have the balls to call them out!

You can lick their boots if you want…I prefer freedom.


Acting like thugs according to…? The attorney who sees deep pockets? The person making the claim? This article? You have one very lopsided part of the story as reported by those with the most to gain: cold cash. You are so quick to rally the wagons against the police for perceived wrongdoing. What a social disaster Ferguson was! Wilson was convicted in the media before the story was even out. Here we go again, albeit on a much smaller scale. If the police made a mistake, then they do need to pay for that mistake. I want to see more facts first before I bash anyone.


Reed: “Malloy, isn’t that 211 involving a black man still open?”

Malloy: “Yes it is partner, lets get him.”