Oakland, CA — Elaine Brown was awarded more than $4 million in penal damages after a Northern California jury decided in her favor. Brown won the case against Oakland Councilwoman Desley Brooks who physically attacked her amid an argument about housing.
The jury decided that Desley Brooks should pay $550,000 to Elaine Brown after being injured from their confrontation in 2015 at a restaurant.
Last month, the same jury found out that Brooks was serving as a councilwoman in Oakland and decided that the city of Oakland should pay Brown $3.8 million in damages.
The jury took into consideration the fact that Brown suffered from bruises and had to undergo a surgery for her torn rotating cuff after Brooks punched and pushed her causing her to stumble on a pile of chairs. Brown who was 72 years old at that time was the victim of elder abuse and battery, according to the jury.
“I feel grateful to the jury for understanding that this wasn’t an issue of two black women fighting in a bar,” Brown said. “This was someone who was an elected official who abused her power.”
Brooks who was serving for five years at Oakland’s City Council found the verdict “disappointing but not unexpected.”
Elaine Brown, a former leader of the Black Panther, joined the organization in 1968 and became its first and only woman leader in 1974. Since then, she had been active in community service but had to step down on 1977 for reasons she, later on, revealed to be male dominance in the movement.
The confrontation she had with Brooks in 2015 was brought about by her housing project that will assist ex-convicts in West Oakland that Brooks had opposed.
Brown testified that during an encounter at Everett & Jones Barbecue in October 2015, Brooks argued that her project was “of no benefit to black people” and after a more heated exchange of words punched and pushed her.