Police Brutality Martyers

Response to DA Diana Becton Opinion Piece! Michael E. Kerr

2019-12-10 Opinion: Right decision not to prosecute cop in Pittsburg death - Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton explains the legal standard she applied to make the call

If any average person had admittedly shot and killed someone, there would be an uproar by the public and media, if the "killer" was not prosecuted in court for at least the minimum of involuntary manslaughter if not more depending on the circumstances. And they would be behind bars with a significantly large bail out of reach of most people until trial.

The police, however, can willfully kill people; never spend a moment in jail; never be, themselves or witnesses, interrogated by independent investigators at the time of the crime; be fully supported by the "Mafia like" code of silence of the police union and fellow officers, and then fully expect the DA to accept the conclusions of the police in house investigation "cover-up". Usually, some public embarrassment and a paid leave of absence (vacation) will be the officer's only punishment. It is rare for a police officer to be fired and ever rarer for any level of trial let alone conviction.

After often years of civil court struggles by the family; the government, insurance company and tax payers pay the settlement (hush) money to make things all okay! But money is never enough to erase the pain of loosing a family member.

It is not the prosecutorial standard "proof beyond a reasonable doubt", but the public's blind sacred faith and hero worship of the police that keeps police from really being prosecuted! No jury will convict no matter what the evidence is! President Trump said he could kill someone in broad daylight and his supporters would still support him. It is like that everyday for the police!

Woe is the DA who would actually charge a police officer and take him to court. The Police "Mafia" will certainly publicly attack with vengeance the DA at the next election if not sooner. Now, that is how our criminal justice system actually works! It is a system the public needs to understand and reject. The sooner the better!

Terry Amons Jr.

Terry, a 43 year old Black man was shot and killed by Pittsburg Police late Friday night, while eating dinner inside his car outside of Nations Burgers in Pittsburg, as was his habit before going to work on his night shift job as a delivery driver for Presidential Propane Company.

The police claim that he was reaching for a gun that was a holstered pistol in plain sight to the non shooting officer. Body cam of both officers clearly show Amons attempting to comply with shouted contradictory orders from two cops with guns drawn and aimed at him. The videos shows Amons complying with orders to place his hands on the steering wheel and then attempting to comply with frantic commands to "get out of the car" before being sensely gunned down. The officer with the clearest view, through the open passenger side window, of the gun and Amons hands never fires but suddenly backs away to safety as his partner fires some 5 rounds into Amons back. Video shows this officer had no view of either the gun or Amons hand nearest gun.

Officers claim they were responding to a drug dealing complaint that provoked the initial contact. Amons was alone and no drugs were found in his car.

Oscar Grant Committee

Body cam footage played in hearing on Pittsburg police shooting death

Body cam footage shows officer involved shooting

Family Of Terry Amons Jr., Killed In Officer-Involved Shooting, Rallies For Justice

Fight For Justice Justice 4 TerryAmons Rally & Speak Out

Activists question shooting death by Pittsburg police

Family of man killed by Pittsburg police last year files lawsuit

Opinion: DA Becton uses wrong standard for police prosecutions

Opinion: Right decision not to prosecute cop in Pittsburg death .

Malad Baldwin

On September 30, 2019 Malad Baldwin was assaulted by the police at his home in front of witnesses. His home is in a relatively nice neighborhood in Antioch. Interviews of family members by the Oscar Grant Committee, were used to create this brief narrative of the events. To date the police have refused to release any police records to Malad or his mother and the officers involved are not known at this time. A complaint has now been filed in an effort to obtain police records.

Apparently, Antioch Police were dispatched due to a call from Contra Costa Fire Dept concerning a man acting unusual, according to the Medical History Report by Sutter Hospital ER Thomas Sugarman MD following discussion with Police.

Malad says he had observed a Fire Truck parked down the street. He claims he did nothing abnormal other than staring although he may have had some mental confusion about what might have happened.

While he was near the street near his home, the fire truck drove passed him and then did a U-turn and parked just down the street again. Apparently, that is when the police were notified.

Earlier, Malad had told his brother Lawrence Adams, his care giver, that he was going for his usual walk. Lawrence watching from his upstairs window above the garage then saw a brief exchange between occupants in a slowly passing fire truck. The firemen seemed to be taunting and pointing at Malad and he heard Malad yell out “why are you here for me? You aren’t here for me! I didn’t call you!”

According to Malad, he remembers a police officer pulling up in a patrol car and and approaching him. Malad remembers that the officer asked, “what you are doing” and I says “nothing, I live here”. Malad said “Am I being arrested” I live right here. The officer then followed behind Malad to the house.

Malad was now on his sidewalk near his front door on his way into his house. Malad describes being pulled by the shoulder. He at first thought it was his brother. However, it was the police officer. Malad is confused about what happened, but he remembers being punched.

He doesn’t remember any commands by the officer. Malad also continues to say, “ I didn’t do anything?” Malad then slips inside house and goes up the nearby stairs to his bedroom. Malad remembers locking his bedroom door. Hearing commotion, Malad leaves his room and from the balcony was calling out to his brother “What is happening?” Now, the Officer goes up the stairs following Malad into bedroom.

Lawrence, meanwhile, had watched the police officer arrive from upstairs window .The police officer never said anything in response to Malad, but closely followed him from behind on the sidewalk and across the street up the driveway while having put on leather gloves.

When Lawrence lost visual contact with his brother, he raced downstairs and opened the front door. There he witnessed the officer, without saying a word, grab Malad’s shoulder and then punch him in his shoulder with his fist driving Malad into the side of the house.

Malad then scurried into house. The officer just watched momentarily while grabbing his taser. Then, without saying a word, he violently pushed Lawrence from the door back into the house so hard that Lawrence staggered far into the dining room.

The officer then went into a crouch position besides the stairway with his red lighted taser held out in front of him at the ready. Lawrence yelled out “You can’t do that. That’s against the law. You have no warrant!”

Officer still in crouch mode then climbed up the stairs. Suddenly, 3 firemen walked into the house. Lawrence is still back in dining room with hands up hoping not to get shot. A fireman tugs on his clothes asking him to come outside. Lawrence says “that’s not right. I am only one here with Malad.”

A fireman then says that Malad called in on himself. Lawrence responds, “That’s not right”. Lawrence then manages to escort the firemen from the house.

As Lawrence was engaged with the firemen just outside the front door, another police officer suddenly appears from behind the firemen with baton drawn pushing Lawrence violently up against the door. Instinctively, Lawrence grabs the baton to prevent any blows.

Then a fireman yells from the doorway, “he’s upstairs” and the officer releases Lawrence, turns and runs upstairs. Lawrence locks the front door to keep out the firemen.

Lawrence goes upstairs and sees an officer strike Malad with a baton in back of knee. Officer yells for Lawrence to get out of here and Lawrence says, “ I am going to my room”.

There in his bedroom, Malad is assaulted with a baton or flashlight bringing him down to his knees. One officer had a choke hold on Malad and then the other officer brought his knee across Malad’s throat while the other officer handcuffed Malad with his arms behind him.

Hearing the commotion, Malad’s Uncle Martin Parks, who is disabled, came out of his upstairs room to observe the action in Malad’s room. Shocked by what was happening, he saw Malad laying face down on his bed with handcuffs on.

One officer was still holding Malad down, while another officer had his gun drawn pointing at Malad’s head. Martin then heard the officer say at least two different times if you don’t stop struggling, “I will shoot you”.

During his interview, Martin was still quite shaken by everything that had happened. Observing Martin, one officer yelled “ Get the Fuck out! This is none of your business!” Martin went back to his room and called Malad’s mother Kathryn Wade.

Malad was then brought downstairs and outside of his home with both officer’s pulling his arms high above the rear of his head causing excruciating pain and doubling him over as he tried to walk.

Lawrence retrieves his video phone from room and returns to balcony in time to video police hauling Malad down the stairs and out the front door. Police officer slams front door in Lawrence’s face, but he still comes out to video more.

Lawrence says as his brother is at police car handcuffed, he hears officer threaten Malad “ I will shoot you if you are not still.”

After a few minutes, Malad was placed into a police car and then taken to Sutter Hospital for examination although the police refused to tell family where he was being taken. The handcuffs were never removed during about 30 minutes at hospital.

Malad was given several medicines. According to Medical report, Malad claims he was struck in the right Clavicle by a baton and the left knee by a flashlight. Malad tells Thomas Sugarman MD that he has a history of mental illness, around PTSD. Malad is unable to provide further information, but wants his Mother called. Malad repeatedly asks ‘If there a warrant’ and ‘if he is under arrest’. Full ER visit bill is about $3200.

When Malad leaves in police car, Lawrence goes back inside house, only to return shortly when his mother arrives fearing for her wellbeing. Lawrence sees 3-4 firemen acting disrespectful toward his mom such that even one police officer steps in to stop it.

Malad’s mother, Kathryn Wade, was informed of police attack on her son by Uncle Martin Parks via a phone call. She arrived at her home just after the police had left taking her son to Sutter Hospital. Kathryn was told by police that a Contra Costa Firefighter on a passing Fire truck claimed he had seen Malad throw something at a woman and initiated a call to Police.

Kathryn’s pleas for police, quite numerous now, to locate this mysterious woman were ignored as police made no effort on the scene to find such a person despite continued presence of firemen and two of their trucks. Kathryn has been unable to locate any such woman in talking to neighbors.

No one is aware of the reasons for the presence of these fire trucks either before or after incident involving Malad. There didn’t seem to be any medical emergencies or fires, outside of the attack on Malad. Lawrence observes many police officers in area, just talking to each other. Also, there are two fire trucks one of which was partially blocking Kathryn’s car as she drove into her driveway.

From Sutter Hospital, Malad was transferred to Antioch Police Department and later to Martinez Jail. He was eventually transferred to West County Detention Center. After 3 days, Malad was released apparently without any paperwork, charges or notice to appear in court.

The testimony of Malad, Kathryn, Martin and Lawrence are both honest, sincere, emotional and disturbing! See the video interview links.

Rather than treating this call as someone experiencing a medical mental episode, officers physically abused Malad and even Lawrence and entered Mahad’s home without warrant or permission. No one in family gave any permission for police and firemen to enter their home, nor was anyone asked.

Despite there being no reason to believe any crime was happening or had been committed, police used extreme physical force including repeated threats to shoot to kill with a weapon aimed at Malad while he was handcuffed and otherwise restrained.

In reality, the entire family was terrorized including several young children in a separate living room to left of front door by totally unwarranted police brutality against a wonderful family of color.

Police were aware or should have been aware that Malad suffers from some mental illness that may make him unable to rationally respond to police commands when he is confronted with a stressful situation.

In fact, Malad already suffers some mental disabilities the result of an earlier brutal police assault on April 28, 2014. Beaten to unconscious, Malad was found innocent at a trial after he was falsely accused of actually assaulting the police.

The case resulted in a monetary settlement but has left Malad mentally scarred

Interviews of Malad and family by myself

Cops Will Face Mom’s Distress Claim in Son’s Beating

BALDWIN v. COLLEY BALDWIN v. COLLEY Case No. 15-cv-02762-KAW - April 11, 2017

Baldwin et al v. Colley et al, No. 4:2015cv02762 - Document 24 (N.D. Cal. 2015)

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Alan Blueford

Just after midnight on Saturday May 6th, Alan Blueford and two of his friends were waiting for some girls to pick them up on 90th Ave., in East Oakland, after the Floyd Mayweather fight. Not long after Alan had phoned his parents to check-in with them, a car slowly pulled up to them with its lights off. Alan ran. One officer gave chase. A few blocks later Alan was shot by OPD officer Miguel Masso. Masso also shot himself in the foot. Over a dozen witnesses all said that Alan had no weapon and posed no threat to the officer.

Why did the police approach Alan and his friends with their lights off? Why did they give chase when Alan had committed no crime and posed no threat to the officer? Why was Alan shot three times when he had no weapon? How did a trained officer shoot himself in the foot? From the witnesses’ statements, why was Alan not given emergency CPR by OPD? Why did the OPD change their story to the family several times in the days after the shooting? Why have they refused to release the coroner’s report, despite the fact that it has been complete for weeks?

The family has gotten nothing but lies, distortions and stalling from the OPD. The Blueford family and the Justice 4 Alan Blueford Coalition are demanding:

  1. Officer Miguel Masso be fired and charged with Alan’s murder.
  2. OPD Chief Howard Jordan be held accountable for lying to the Blueford family.
  3. An end to stop-and-frisk and other police practices of racial profiling.
  4. The repeal of the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights, that shields violent cops from prosecution and keeps them on the street.

Oscar Grant Committee

The Alan Blueford Center For Justice

The Alan Blueford Center For Justice - Home | Facebook

Stop Police Officers from Killing Our Children - Jeralynn Bluford

Justice For Alan Blueford - CounterPunch

Why is this cop still in uniform?

District Attorney’s report: Officer justified in Alan Blueford shooting

Alan Blueford - Oakland - LocalWiki

Alan Blueford Killing: Officer At Center Of Controversial Police Shooting Escapes Charges

Family of teen killed by Oakland police receives $110K settlement

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Raheim Malik Brown

On Saturday, Jan. 22, 2010 20-year-old Raheim Malik Brown was shot and killed by the Oakland Unified School District’s police force near a Skyline High School dance.

Police statements and media have reported that Brown tried to stab an officer with a screwdriver, and a second officer shot Brown five times – once in each arm, once in his chest and twice in his head – in defense of his partner.

On Thursday, Feb. 3, outside the OUSD headquarters, Brown’s mother, Lori Davis, spoke at a press conference. Calling the killing an “assassination,” she was horrified by the excessive use of force by school police officers. Davis believes that Sgts. Barhim Bhatt and Jonathan Bellusa, the two cops identified at the press conference as the two involved in Brown’s killing, should “never be able to work in another police department ever.”

Tamisha Stewart, the only civilian witness to the killing, who was in the car with Brown outside the Skyline High dance, spoke for the first time publicly about the event. The screwdriver Brown was accused of using as a weapon, according to Stewart, was being used in an attempt to hotwire the car, and it “never left the ignition.”

While hotwiring a car might be cause for police attention, it is not cause for five bullets, including two to the head. Stewart added, “There was nothing that Raheim did that he deserved to die.” According to statements at the press conference, after Brown was killed, Stewart was beaten badly and jailed for almost a week.

An Oakland teacher’s union representative also spoke at the Thursday press conference, saying that the union had voted to “support fully an independent investigation” into Brown’s killing and the OUSD Police Department.

Brown was one of three people killed by police in a single week in Oakland. In early 2010 former Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts called on the FBI for an external investigation into the November police killing of Derrick Jones. As initial police statements contrast sharply with Stewart’s account of Brown’s killing, further investigation into this case might also be warranted.

Oscar Grant Committee

The Oakland school police killing of Raheim Brown Jr.

Witness contests Oakland school police story on murder of Raheim Brown

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Adrian Burrell

The cellphone video starts at approximately the moment Vallejo Police Department officer David McLaughlin draws his gun from its holster.

Adrian Burrell, a former Marine and documentary filmmaker is holding the phone and standing on his porch on January 22, watching the traffic stop of his cousin, Michael Walton, happening in Burrell's driveway.

"You have a gun, and I have one, but it's in the form of a camera," Burrell recalls thinking. "This is the only thing I can bring to the fight." When McLaughlin turns and notices he's being filmed, he orders Burrell to "get back."

"Nope," Burrell responds from his porch about 20 to 30 feet away. Filming the police is protected under the First Amendment, as long as it doesn't interfere with police duties. But McLaughlin strides onto the porch—holstering his gun and turning his back on Walton, a man he just moments ago appeared to consider a possible deadly threat—and starts to handcuff Burrell. "You're interfering, so you're going in the back of the car," he says.

What happens next isn't caught on camera, but McLaughlin tells Burrell to stop resisting. "I'm not resisting," Burrell insists. According to Burrell, McLaughlin then swept him to the ground and slammed his head against a wooden pole, giving him a concussion. McLaughlin detained Burrell before eventually releasing him, Burrell says, after finding out he was a veteran. "I spend my whole life trying to avoid this, and it came to my house," Burrell thought as he sat in the back of the squad car. Like many recorded instances of police misconduct over the past five years, Burrell's cellphone footage, uploaded to Facebook, went viral, sparking national media coverage. But it was only one of a string of high-profile police incidents in recent months that have inflamed long-running tensions in Vallejo—a diverse, blue-collar city north of Oakland, California—between the city's police department and its citizens. Almost all of the recent incidents have been caught on cellphones or police-worn body cameras. Local activists say they finally show what lawsuits and protesters have complained of for years. Vallejo has paid out millions of dollars to settle civil lawsuits alleging wrongful deaths, brutality, and misconduct over the past decade. According to Claudia Quintana, Vallejo city attorney, there are currently 35 pending claims and lawsuits in connection with the Vallejo Police Department, 16 of which allege excessive force. There have been accusations of police retaliation against victims who have come forward, the police chief resigned in April, and the mayor has asked that the Justice Department come to town to try to mend the frayed relationship between police and the community. The Vallejo Police Department says it is underfunded and dealing with high crime and high unemployment; the city never really recovered from the 2008 recession. But Vallejo has one of the highest per capita rates of fatal police shootings in the state, higher than neighboring cities with similar crime problems, and one of the highest amounts of lawsuit payouts in the Bay Area. And while the number of police use-of-force injuries may be small compared to the overall number of arrests, for the first time, many of them are being caught on tape. "Vallejo's been problematic for a long time," says Melissa Nold, Burrell's attorney. "I'm from here, I've lived here my whole life, and the police department's always been problematic. I think a lot of the increase for us recently has been the videotapes."

The City of Vallejo, California, Has a Police Problem—and It's All Being Caught on Camera

Police investigate video of alleged assault of a veteran by Vallejo officer

Video: Vallejo police tackle, detain man who filmed them

Vallejo Officer Investigated After Rough Arrest Of Man Recording Traffic Stop

Marine veteran says Vallejo cop assaulted him for filming traffic stop

Vallejo officer in controversial viral videos returns to duty

Agustin “Augie” Gonsalez

The shooting happened November 18, 2018 on the 24000 block of O’Neil Ave. following a 911 call reporting a man with a knife. Officers found 29-year-old Agustin Gonsalez in the street and repeatedly ordered him to drop the knife. Video shows Gonsalez ignoring the commands and advancing toward an officer before being shot multiple times. Gonsalez was taken to a hospital where he later died. It was determined the object in his hand had been a razor blade.

Famed civil rights attorney John Burris is representing the family, and said in a press conference Friday that the 13 bullets fired were unnecessary. “You should bring out your beanbags, or your pepper spray, any number of things that are available, that these officer all had,” said Burris. “That could have been used at the time that they were there, without using deadly force.”

The decision to clear the officers comes six months after the shooting. The DA's report, which is 30 pages long, says the investigation focused on whether there is sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a law enforcement official committed a crime in connection with the shooting death. DA Nancy O'Malley said no.

Family members met with their attorneys to read the district attorney's final report on the deadly police shooting of the 29-year-old. "Just reading this whole article just makes me more angry," said Karla Gonsalez, the man's mother.

The report found that Gonsalez was suicidal, that he advanced on officers with the intention of getting them to shoot and kill him. It cited evidence, including a text message Gonsalez sent on the day of the shooting, He wrote in part, "I've surrendered myself to the devil and gave in.....I'm dead inside so I'm not sorry for the outcome."

"No, deep down inside, it was a call for help," said Karla about her son, "It's not a reason for a police officer to come and kill them (him). It doesn't give them the place of god to take their life,"

KRON4's Michelle Kingston spoke with victim's family. "My son was 29 years old. he has two beautiful kids that are 8 and 10. He adored them." his mother Karla Gonsalez said. "He was a hard worker. He was goofy. He always knew how to make people laugh." " He knew how to brighten our room with a smile". Gonsalez's family is wondering how they'll get through his daughter's ninth birthday party and Christmas without him.
Meanwhile, there appears to be a power grab initiated by Hayward City Manager Kelly McAdoo that could strip each councilmember of its power to control the conversation at Hayward City Hall by limiting the number of referrals requested per elected official to five each year. Councilmember Aisha Wahab has offered at least five referrals already this year and it is just March.

But it was Wahab’s questions and referral about police de-escalation and mental health training that is the impetus for Tuesday night’s agenda item to reform the referral process. Wahab’s query came after the killing last November by Hayward Police of Agustin Gonsalez, a 29-year-old man was later found to have suffered from mental illness. The answers to Wahab’s question about the types of training and whether Hayward Police receive them did not come easy.

Last month, Wahab raised the issue again during a council meeting, but McAdoo questioned exactly what Wahab was actually asking them to do. Upset, Wahab revealed conversations on the topic that she had with the city manager and questioned whether Hayward police officers are receiving any mental health training at all.

Photos: Vigil for Agustin “Augie” Gonsalez – The Mercury News

Hayward Police Release Body Cam Video Of Fatal Shooting Of Man With Razor Blade

Hayward police officers cleared in deadly shooting of Agustin Gonsalez

Hayward: Police identify man fatally shot by officers

**Power grab at Hayward City Hall? City manager seeks to control council referrals

Calls of “Justice for Augustin Gonsalez” at the Hayward City Council

Family of Man Slain by Hayward Police Calls for Better Officer Training

Hayward: Call for investigation into police shooting

Oscar Grant

In the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009, Oscar Juliuss Grant III was fatally shot by former Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police officer Johannes Mehserle in Oakland, California, USA.

Responding to reports of a fight on a crowded BART train returning from San Francisco, and based on only a general description of those involved in the fight, several BART Police officers detained Grant and several others on the platform of the Fruitvale BART Station. One of the passengers, who witnesses say was not actually involved in the fight, was 22-year-old Oscar Grant.

By the time Mehserle arrived at the scene, another BART officer was restraining Oscar, who was unarmed and lying face down on the platform. Based on the belief that Oscar was reaching into his waistband while being restrained by that other BART officer, Mehserle claims he intended to draw his Taser®, but instead drew his 9mm pistol, and discharged a single fatal round striking Oscar in the chest.

Oscar was pronounced dead the next morning at Highland Hospital in Oakland.

The events were captured on several digital video and cell phone cameras. The footage was quickly disseminated to media outlets and to various websites, where it was viewed by millions. The following days saw both peaceful and violent protests.

On January 30, 2010, Alameda County prosecutors charged Mehserle with murder for the shooting death of Oscar Grant. Mehserle soon resigned his position and pleaded not guilty. After a change of venue, the criminal trial began June 10, 2010 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

On July 8, 2010, the jury returned its verdict: Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, and acquitted of both second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.

Initial protests against the ruling were peacefully organized, however, looting, arson, destruction of property, and small riots broke out after dark. Nearly 80 people were eventually arrested.

On July 9, the U.S. Justice Department opened a civil rights investigation against Mehserle, however, no federal charges have been filed against Mehserle to date.

On November 5, 2010, Mehserle was sentenced to two years in State Prison, but was given double credit for the 146 days he had already served prior to sentencing, thereby reducing his sentence by 292 days. Mehserle served his time in the Los Angeles County Jail, occupying a private cell away from other prisoners, and was released on June 13, 2011.

Oakland civil rights attorney John Burris filed a $25 million wrongful death claim against BART on behalf of Grant's family. BART settled with Grant's daughter and mother for a total of $2.8 million in 2011. It also settled with several of Grant's friends who had sued for damages because of police brutality.

Oscar Grant Foundation (OGF)

Shooting of Oscar Grant - Wikipedia

The Shooting Death of Oscar Grant

Officer instigated then lied about actions that led to shooting death of Oscar Grant, report says

10 years since Oscar Grant’s death: What happened at Fruitvale Station?

Fruitvale Station - Wikipedia

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Miles Hall

On June 2nd 2019, our beautiful son Miles Hall was shot and killed by the Walnut Creek Police.

Because our mental health system is deeply flawed and doesn’t support families whose adult children have mental illness, we had no option but to turn to the police to get Miles help when he was in crisis. We sought out guidance about how to maneuver through this system. We were strategic and deliberate in our efforts to protect and support Miles.

After working with the police for two years to protect Miles during his mental health episodes, the Walnut Creek police responded to our call for help on June 2nd with lethal force. On a sunny afternoon in our quiet neighborhood, the Walnut Creek Police shot and killed Miles within a block from our home before making any efforts to de-escalate the situation.

Miles was ill. He was not a criminal.

Miles should be alive today. ​ Since his death in June 2019, we have been fighting to create change and protect families from loss like ours. We have recently created the Miles Hall Foundation to continue and expand our work. ​ We are all connected to someone who is suffering from mental illness. And we all have the power to create change to protect and support them.

We ask you to work with us to create desperately needed change. We cannot do this work without you.

Justice for Miles Hall

The Miles Hall Foundation

Mother of Walnut Creek police shooting victim calls for changes in the way cops handle mental illness

Request Advanced Crisis Intervention Training and Full Transparency Throughout the Process

Legal Claim: Family Of Man Killed In Officer Involved Shooting

Family of man killed by Walnut Creek police files civil claim, says officers knew he suffered from mental illness

Walnut Creek Police Facing Lawsuit Over Fatal Shooting Of Mentally Ill Man

Miles Hall shooting: Walnut Creek Police release body camera video

Bodycam Footage Shows Walnut Creek Officer-Involved Shooting

Body Camera Footage Shows Deadly Walnut Creek Officer-Involved Shooting

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Santiago Hutchins

A Concord man is suing the Vallejo police officer who pulled a gun on him during an August 2018 off-duty argument outside of a pizzeria.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court, alleges Vallejo Officer David McLaughlin used excessive force when he “unlawfully brandished his gun” before taking Santiago Hutchins to the ground and striking the man repeatedly in the head.

The lawsuit also names a yet-to-be-identified San Francisco sheriff’s deputy, who was also off-duty at the time of the incident, and an unknown Walnut Creek police officer, for failing to stop McLaughlin’s alleged excessive force.

The Burrell incident wasn't the first time mobile phone recordings revealed what looks like abusive behavior on the part of McLaughlin.

Roughly six months before, on August 11, 2018, McLaughlin was walking into a pizzeria while off-duty and out of uniform when he locked eyes with Vallejo resident Santiago Hutchins. Hutchins claimed McLaughlin asked him what he was looking at. The two started jawing at each other, but instead of shrugging it off, McLaughlin drew his gun and pointed it at Hutchins.

"We made eye contact," Hutchins told local news outlets. "He asked me what I was looking at, and I asked him what he wanted. We got into a verbal altercation. At that point, he pulled out his gun."

Witnesses, unaware McLaughlin was a cop, pulled out their cellphones, called 911, and started recording. Hutchins' family, sitting inside the pizzeria, watched as several Walnut Creek police officers arrived and tackled Hutchins.

Cellphone footage obtained by local news station KTVU shows McLaughlin then punching and elbowing Hutchins while two other officers hold him down. The beating bloodied Hutchins' face, and he required stitches above one of his eyes. Hutchins was arrested on suspicion of disturbing the peace, according to the East Bay Times, but the charges were later dropped.

Sanjay Schmidt, Hutchins' attorney, filed an internal affairs complaint with the Vallejo Police Department on Hutchins' behalf in October. The response? "Crickets chirping," he says.

Schmidt says no one from the department followed up to interview Hutchins, or even acknowledged it had received the complaint. McLaughlin was put on leave on Feb. 4, three days after local news obtained the footage and reported he was the same officer from the Burrell incident.

Hutchins filed an excessive force claim, a precursor to a civil rights lawsuit, against Vallejo several days later. In April, Vallejo rejected his claim, writing that McLaughlin was not on-duty as a city employee when the incident happened.

Without the cellphone video, the public wouldn't have had the opportunity to witness McLaughlin's actions for themselves, and he might never have been put on leave. "To me it was interesting that there were now two incidents in which Mclaughlin was caught—two incidents in which individuals had the presence of mind to get out their cellphones and record," Schmidt says.

East Bay man suing city, Vallejo Police Department officer for excessive force

Remember the Vallejo Cop Who Tackled a Veteran for Filming Him?

New misconduct lawsuits filed against Vallejo Police Department

Vallejo police legal payouts total over $7M as father files claim over takedown in parking lot

Hutchins v. City of Vallejo et al

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Derrick Jones

Derrick Jones was shot to death on November 8, 2010 by Oakland Police Officers Eriberto Perez-Angeles and Omar Daza-Quiroz.

Jones was unarmed when he was shot. Officers said they saw a metal object in his hands, which they believed was a weapon. This morning, Oakland Police identified the object as an electronic pocket scale.

Perez-Angeles and Dara-Quiroz were both involved in a previous shooting incident on July 19, 2008 that resulted in the death of Leslie Allen, according to records from the Oakland Police Department and the Alameda County District Attorney.

A family friend, Madison, said Jones was well liked in his neighborhood as he ran a barbershop that was a community gathering point. Madison talked about Derrick's barbecues, the way he was "goofy" and how he used to feed homeless folks.

The Oakland police department had allegedly harassed Derrick ever since his family won a suit against the police 20 years ago, which resulted in the firing of two officers.

According to Lawyer Ronald Cruz, police picked up Michael Jones after a recent rally for his brother and charged Michael with driving while intoxicated. According to Ronald Cruz, "Then Oakland police told Michael Jones 'We'll kill your whole family,' and called him the n-word." Oakland police allegedly used similar tactics in the Oscar Grant case, with police repeatedly arresting, threatening and harassing Oscar's family and friends who witnessed his murder.

The February 2011 Alameda County DA’s report on the shooting of Derrick Jones: “There is a lack of evidence to support a prosecution against eitherofficer. This office will take no further action.”

Oscar Grant Committee

Justice for Derrick Jones

Derrick Jones (1983-2010)

Derrick Jones, Murdered by Oakland Police Nov 8, 2010

Oakland police kill suspect in alleged attack

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Elena Mondragon

The undercover officers were dressed in plain clothes and armed with AR-15 rifles when they ambushed the car of teenagers. As the car’s driver attempted to speed away – he later said he thought they were being robbed – two of the policemen fired at the vehicle, missing the driver and striking Elena Mondragon, a 16-year-old girl in the passenger seat, killing her.

The killing of Mondragon – who was pregnant and unarmed – was as shocking and tragic as many of the fatal police shootings that have sparked viral hashtags, national protests and widespread media coverage in recent years. But her death in March last year in Hayward, California, barely made headlines outside local news.

That’s largely because no one recorded the incident on a smartphone. Likewise, none of the 7 officers present turned on the body cameras they were wearing. As a result, law enforcement’s narrative – that the shooting was necessary as they tried to arrest the driver – has largely prevailed. The policemen were cleared and sent back to work.

On March 14, 2017, police found the BMW tucked into the last parking spot on a dead-end street in Hayward. Mondragon, Tiger, Copes, and Mondragon's cousin were swimming in Apartment complex's pool. It was a warm March afternoon. They stayed poolside for about an hour while an undercover officer observed them.

The arrest team's plan was to wait until Tiger, Copes, and the two girls returned from the pool and got into the BMW. From there, the police would conduct a maneuver to block the BMW in its parking spot with their own vehicles, and arrest the suspects at gunpoint.

But it didn't work out that way. Instead, Tiger, Copes, Cabrera, and Mondragon got into the BMW and Tiger immediately began to drive out of the parking lot. Chahouati, who was steering the police van, pulled up bumper to bumper with the BMW. Miskella placed the Honda so that its front was even with the back of the van while blocking the other lane in the narrow exit to the parking lot. From there, the officers exited, drew their weapons, lit up police lights in their vehicles, and ordered the BMW's occupants to put their hands in the air. According to the DA's report, Tiger didn't comply. He backed up the BMW and then accelerated forward toward police.

Detective Hernandez told the DA's office he thought Officer Chahouati had already been run down and that Miskella was next. He fired twice into the BMW with his rifle. Miskella fired five rounds from his rifle also at the car as it zipped past. Mondragon was the only occupant of the BMW struck by gunfire.

The Fremont Police Department's use of force policy states that firing shots at a moving vehicle is "rarely effective," and that officers should move out of the path of cars instead of shooting. It prohibits officers from firing at moving vehicles except "when the officer reasonably believes there are no other reasonable means available to avert the threat of the vehicle."

Minjares said his sister, Mondragon's mother, and her extended family were shaken by her sudden death and the official silence that followed. After reviewing court records, police reports, and the DA's review of the case, he questioned why police allowed Tiger to get into a car before they moved to arrest him. "You let him pick his weapon. You let him have a car," Minjares said. "Why didn't they arrest him while they were at the pool?"

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Richard "Pedie" Pedro Perez III

Richard "Pedie" Pedro Perez III was unarmed and non-violent when he was murdered by police officer Wallace Jensen on September 14th, 2014. He was shot at Uncle Sam’s Liquor & Market near the Perez family business, Perez Brothers Trucking, located across the street in a residential and commercial neighborhood which is where our business has been for over 30 years.

On September 14, 2014, Officer Wallace Jensen approached Perez while doing a security check at Uncle Sam's Liquors on Cutting Boulevard. He knew Perez was unarmed when he told him to sit on the curb.

"Pedie asked the cop if he was being arrested, and he said no just detained, so Pedie got up and started walking," said Pedie's father. That's when the officer tackled Perez from behind and they tussled on the ground. Officer Jensen claimed he shot Perez because the young man was grabbing for Jensen's gun.

"We have six witnesses that say he didn't do that, six witnesses who say he was barely getting up off the ground, 6 witnesses who say he had his hands up saying, don't shoot me," said Pedie's father.

Store video shows an obscured view of the altercation. The department did not have body-worn cameras ar the time.

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Eric Reason

Investigators from two police departments are probing the fatal shooting of a well-known resident and local rapper in Vallejo by an off-duty Richmond police officer. Relatives and friends identified the man as Eric Reason, 38, a rapper who worked in construction, had six children and was widely known in Vallejo.

Surveillance video from a busy parking lot in Northern California captures a tense dispute flaring into violence when an off-duty police officer fired his weapon at a man running away, leaving him mortally wounded and raising questions over the need for deadly force.

The city of Vallejo released four videos Tuesday giving alternate viewpoints of the Nov. 10, 2019, incident in a busy strip mall.

In the video, which has no audio, Richmond Police Sgt. Virgil Thomas appears to drive toward an empty parking spot just as Reason pulls away from a nearby gas station pump. After Thomas parks, Reason stops his van several feet behind and steps out. They get in each other's faces for a few seconds, the video shows.

Reason then walks away and appears to grab an object from the hood of his van. He goes back to Thomas, who pulls out a weapon and fires, appearing to shoot out a back window of Reason's car.

At that moment, Reason runs away and Thomas continues to fire at him in the parking lot, even advancing closer to Reason before the video cuts off.

Vallejo police said Reason was armed and had retrieved a rag containing a handgun from his van when he confronted Thomas.

Thomas is a former president of the Richmond Police Officers Association.

From the beginning, according to former law enforcement officer turned civil rights attorney Melissa Nold, police didn’t follow standard protocol. Thomas reaped advantages that aren't typically granted, Nold said. “Officer-involved shootings require the person who shoots to have their gun removed. They’re taken off-scene. They’re sequestered,” Nold told KCBS Radio. “He actually got benefits that are far above what they would even give an officer in officer-involved shootings. In fact, I’ve never seen anything like this in my own personal law enforcement training and my eight years in working in police misconduct, specifically.”

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James Rivera

On the morning of July 22, 2010 at around 11:30, 16 year old James Rivera was assassinated in premeditated murder, according to his family and witnesses.

According to James Rivera's mother police came to her house late at night/early morning before the murder and terrorized the family. Police held guns at 2 even younger children and told them they were going to kill him.

Later, according to friends, he was pulled over then released and then chased. As he crashed into a fence and made a u turn , police rammed the back of the blue van which caused the van to go out of control. The van went onto a lawn of a corner house on Salters Dr. and Bancroft Way, finally crashed straight into the garage wall where the van seemed to be lodged into.

Officers exited their vehicles and asked James to exit the van twice but 2 seconds later they began to shoot. Over 30 rounds have been estimated to be found. They executed those rounds with 9mm handguns and fully automatic M-16 assault riffles.

Witnesses say that the ambulance arrived with out their sirens and left without them, as if there was no urgency. The people believe that he was dead at the scene. They saw officers pull him out and slap his face and then do nothing.

Reporters are saying that police stated the pursuit began at 10:30 after finding the van that had been part of a carjacking with a shotgun. It has not been said if this was the van, and the police do not mention any previous encounters with James Rivera. The media has yet to report the truth, i know we heard the people speak the truth and that's not what they are printing.

Oscar Grant Committee

Justice for James Rivera; Police Murder in Stockton, Ca.

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Mario Romero

In the early morning hours of September 2, 2012 Mario Romero was brutally killed by the Vallejo Police Department as he and his brother-in-law sat in front of their home on their way to return to their wives and children. However, before they were able to leave their car, they were sprayed with bullets by bloodthirsty police officers on a mission to seek and destroy.

The Vallejo police officers admit they never identified themselves, never asked for a driver's license, insurance or registration. Instead. they told the men to raise their hands at the same time they fired upon them with brutality that mirrored the actions of Nazis.

The officers reloaded round after round into their clips as witnesses screamed for them to spare the lives of these two innocent men. They continued to spray the car with bullets, living out a scene from a video game, jumping up on the car's hood.

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