A group of several dozen protesters demanding an end to police brutality showed up to make their voices heard Monday.
A group of people, who were allegedly beaten by El Monte Police officers, filed a claim for $6 million in damages. According to their attorney, they had been hanging out in the backyard of their apartment building last month when a car pulled up, the driver got out and scaled a fence.
After that, El Monte Police arrived and began questioning them.
At some point, the cops starting allegedly beating them.
One man says a cop hit him in the head with a flashlight. He had this to say when asked why he thought they did it.
"The way I dress, you know, they are judging me," he said.
Attorney James P. Segall-Gutierrez represents the man.
"This culture of violence by law enforcement in the city of El Monte is prevalent and it needs to stop," he said.
The claim filed is a precursor to a lawsuit.
There was no comment about the claim from the El Mont Police Department as of Monday afternoon.
El Monte's slogan is "Welcome to Friendly El Monte" and historically is known as "The End of the Santa Fe Trail". As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 113,475, down from 115,965 at the 2000 census. As of 2010, El Monte was the 51st largest city in California.
El Monte is situated between the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo Rivers; residents claimed that anything could be grown in the area. Between 1770 and 1830, Spanish soldiers and missionaries often stopped here for respite. They called the area 'El Monte,' which in Spanish means 'the mountain' or 'the mount'. Most people assume the name refers to a mountain, but there were no mountains in the valley. The word is an archaic Spanish translation of that era, meaning "the wood". The first explorers had found this a rich, low-altitude land blanketed with thick growths of wispy willows, alders, and cattails, located between the two rivers.
Wild grapevines and watercress also abounded. El Monte is approximately 7 miles long and 4 miles wide. When the State Legislature organized California into more manageable designated townships in the 1850s, they called it the El Monte Township. In a short time, the name returned to the original El Monte.