It was a stakeout gone bad, featuring jumpy police officers, human traffickers, a roughed-up federal agent, and a multimillion-dollar twist of an ending, reports the Los Angeles Times. Sergio Lopez, an undercover U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, was tracking smugglers in 2006 when police officers in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista pulled him over.
A Mexican gang had been kidnapping residents, sometimes by posing as law enforcement officers. “What  are you doing speeding through my city?” one officer asked Lopez. Lopez, showing his badge, tried to explain. The officers handcuffed Lopez and forced him to the ground. Lopez sued, and yesterday was awarded $2.2 million by a San Diego jury that decided some of the five officers had assaulted and battered him. “We believe our officers and supervisors acted appropriately,  under suspicious and dangerous circumstances,” Chula Vista police spokesman Bernard Gonzales said after the verdict.