A veteran news photographer is suing the Oakland, California Police Department after he was roughed up by officers as he tried to cover a story last year.
KGO news photographer Doug Laughlin was outside Highland Hospital on March 21, 2009, the day a wanted felon killed four Oakland police officers.
His job was to videotape the scene.
He was doing that when an angry officer charged, shoving him to the ground.
Once Laughlin hit the ground his camera turned off.
He powered it back up when a crowd of officers, some in uniform, others in plain clothes, surrounded him and forced him across the street.
"I tried to lift the camera up they were all over me trying to grab camera out of my hands, lifting me, pushing me," he recalls. "I couldn't get traction to walk against them."
Laughlin's attorney says not only was the attack illegal, but it was an attack on the public's right to know.
Laughlin understands it was an emotional day but worries about a culture of misconduct.
"I know these guys were reacting from emotion but they were on the edge if I had said anything or pushed it I'd have gotten clobbered," he says.
After an internal investigation Laughlin says Oakland officers retaliated against him, making him feel unsafe covering news in the city.
He has since retired, but is pursuing a lawsuit to be sure the OPD addresses the assault.
"I don't want anyone to lose their jobs over this," he says. "I want them to realize they have problems and fix them."
The Oakland Police Department says it hasn't seen the lawsuit so it doesn't have a comment at this time.