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Laura Montilla estuvo detenida durante siete horas por la policía y abandonada en un cementerio. Photo: EFE
Laura Montilla was detained for seven hours by the police and abandoned in a cemetery. Photo: EFE

'Abused, Caged and Tortured' by Police: The Shocking Testimony of an L.A. Latina Student

Laura Montilla claims that the officers used military torture methods on her after arresting her on June 1 during the protests over the death of George Floyd.

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Laura Montilla, a recent graduate of USC and of Venezuelan descent, never imagined that the same day she would peacefully demonstrate against police violence she would suffer it in herself 

As reported to EFE by this young Latina, she was arrested by officers for allegedly violating the curfew, when the truth, Laura assures, is that the Los Angeles City Council moved it up and that's why she and her friends were on the street and completely surrounded by police. 

But the nightmare has only just begun for her. Since the 22-year-old woman claims that she was subjected to truly raw treatment that included sexual abuse, seven hours of confinement without constant loud music and without water or the right to phone calls. She was then abandoned in a cemetery after her ideal was over. 

"I was handcuffed against the wall, and this lady (police officer) came towards me, hit me on the ankles and grabbed my vagina and breasts on two occasions, even though I was watched by several police officers the whole time and it was impossible for me to have anything in my possession," said the Venezuelan.

Laura recalls that she tried to remain "serene," but that the abuses were constant and increasing. Now, she has filed a lawsuit against the LAPD accusing the officers of using military torture methods along with a dozen other people.

"We were screaming for help, when an officer came in, turned the radio on with rock music at maximum volume and left us there, without giving medical attention to anyone even though some were already in panic attacks at the time," she says. 

She was then taken to the Los Angeles National Cemetery in the northwest of the city, where she was released about 40 minutes from her home and without a cell phone or wallet.

"Good luck with the comeback," she was told.

Laura Montilla has not been the only person to report police abuse by the L.A. police.

Julia Dupuis, a non-binary individual, was also handcuffed and harassed by officers for an alleged curfew violation, according to the LA Times

Officers who asked her for identification made fun of her gender and one of them felt her breast, only to immediately realize she had "crossed a line," and called another female officer to finish searching her. 

For 21-year-old Dupuis, there is nothing accidental about this police abuse. It is part of a pattern of sexual harassment experienced by non-binary people and women at the hands of LAPD law enforcement.

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