Angel Francisco Castro-Torres v. Jeremiah M. Lignitz and Brian J. Walraven

Popular Name: 
Cobb County
Court where filed: 
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division
Date Filed: 
08/23/2010
Status: 
Settled
Plaintiffs: 
Angel Francisco Castro-Torres
Defendants: 
Jeremiah M. Lignitz and Brian J. Walraven
Case Related Items 

Angel Francisco Castro-Torres was riding his bicycle in Smyrna, Ga., when he was stopped by two Cobb County police officers. According to their own report, the officers stopped him after observing his race.

The officers demanded Castro’s identification and questioned his immigration status during the stop on March 26, 2010. He was also beaten – resulting in a broken nose and eye socket – and arrested. He required surgery to repair the damage to this eye. A settlement agreement was reached nearly nine months after the lawsuit was filed.

After stopping Castro, the officers took him to the Cobb County Jail, which has a 287(g) agreement with federal authorities that feeds arrested individuals into the federal immigration system. After being held for four months, Castro was released in August 2010 when the two officers named in the lawsuit failed to appear at a hearing regarding the charges they brought against him.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Immigration Project and civil rights attorney Brian Spears filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the two Cobb County police officers over the stop, arrest and beating of Castro. The SPLC and its allies also joined the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) in calling on the federal government to terminate the county’s 287(g) agreement due to the civil rights abuses perpetuated by the program.

Co-Counsel: 

National Immigration Project and civil rights attorney Brian Spears