originally published: 18th June 2009
Hugh R. Manes, a veteran civil rights lawyer who for 40 years fought for victims of police misconduct, died Saturday at his Los Angeles home after a long battle with emphysema, according to his law partner, Carol Watson. He was 84.
Manes began representing victims of police misconduct in the 1960s, nearly three decades before the videotaped beating of motorist Rodney G. King by Los Angeles police officers threw a harsh spotlight on the issue of police brutality.
“He was a voice in the wind,” said Mark Rosenbaum, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, who called Manes the dean of police-abuse lawyers. “Doing police-abuse cases is not fashionable now and was even less fashionable then. Hugh did as much as any citizen to keep the Los Angeles Police Department in check.”