The Los Angeles police are once again the subject of a lawsuit, but this truly a uniquely California form of abuse. The LAPD is accused to forcing a young woman, Adessa Eskridge, 27, to impersonate Jamie Lynn Spears as a decoy to trick the paparazzi. Eskridge is now alleging public humiliation and demanding damages.
According to Eskridge, she was on Jamie Lynn’s flight at LAX when six to eight officers came on board, told her to keep her glasses on, and then threw her into a scrum of paparazzi as Spears escaped. Her lawyer stated:
They didn’t ask her, they told her. They said, ‘You’re going to help us,’ and she was stunned, just obeying the police. The only time they mentioned Jamie Lynn’s name was on the escalator, three seconds before paparazzi surrounded her.”
How much is it worth to be an involuntary Jamie Lee Spears? $100,000 according to Eskridge and her lawyer. (Frankly, I would do it for half of that but no one has asked. I wonder how much a decoy for Justice Scalia would bring?)
The obvious defense here is that Eskridge consented to the ruse. This is one reason why her counsel is emphasizing that she was not told about her purpose only second before the scrum.
My question, however, is who was impersonating the police officers? The use of a civilian in such a role is remarkably stupid since, even if she consents, there is a chance of injury. Moreover, consent may be rejected due to a failure to disclose or understand such risks. Having said that, it is unclear how humiliating this exercise would be unless neighbors now believe that Eskridge was a pregnant teen mother.
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