Sacramento, CA — As TFTP previously reported, the Sacramento police department released the body and dashboard camera footage from an incident last July in which an officer attempted to cause grave injury to a child by running him over with his cruiser. The child's crime? He was riding his bicycle without the proper lighting. Now, the taxpayers are going to be held liable for this cop's actions.
Oakland attorney John Burris filed the lawsuit this week citing a a “string of recent excessive force incidents” by Sacramento police. The lawsuit alleges the officer's use of excessive force, assault, battery and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The deeply disturbing video shows a police officer pursuing a 16-year-old boy for riding his bicycle without the proper front-facing light. When the cop tried to stop the child, the child kept peddling.
As the Sacramento Bee reports:
The teen was stopped at about 10 p.m. for bicycle code violations, including riding at night without lights, and fled during questioning, police said. A police SUV pursuing him struck the teen on a sidewalk, sending him onto the hood and then knocking him back several feet.
The incident sparked a tense standoff as police formed a skirmish line to keep angry citizens at bay while they tended to the teen, who is described in the suit as suffering “serious injuries to his legs and body and emotional distress.”
Running over a child is most assuredly against the department's policy and even the department noted the severity of the situation.
“The department acknowledges this was bad police work,” Patrick Buelna, an attorney for the family said.
Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn released a statement at the time, saying:
“Clearly, this collision could have been tragic. I am grateful the young man was not more seriously injured and that no one else was injured. Our training is designed to prevent this sort of thing from happening. We are going to make sure our training- and the officer’s adherence to that training- is as solid as it can be.”
Although police claim that the collision was an accident, witnesses, including the boy's family say otherwise.
“The police pretty much used the Interceptor to run the minor over to get him to stop, flying him about 10 feet off the sidewalk, into the neighbor’s yard,” the boy's uncle Lavar Washington said.
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When watching the video below, the officer's alleged "loss of control of the vehicle" does not appear to be obvious as he steers toward the child and runs into a yard. It actually looks like the cop ran over the boy on purpose—over improper lighting on his bicycle.
“A responding officer driving a marked police vehicle observed the suspect running toward him on Eleanor Avenue and attempted to assist in detaining the suspect,” the police statement read at the time. “Initial investigation appears to indicate the officer lost control of his vehicle and collided with the suspect.”
“The police are sharing a narrative that is completely a lie,” BLM Sacramento said.
Indeed, the witnesses agreed and came close to attacking the officer for his actions.
Now, because the officer was never held accountable for running over a child for not having the proper light on his bicycle, the taxpayers of Sacramento will be held liable.
As the SacBee points out, "he lawsuit also notes that Sacramento police have been involved in a series of high-profile use-of-force incidents, including the July 2016 Joseph Mann case in which officers tried to hit the mentally ill man with their car, then shot him to death, and the March 2018 shooting death of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man who ran from officers."
Watch the video below and decide for yourself whether or not this cop really tried to run the boy over for a bicycle citation.
Sadly, this sort of stop and violence over improper bicycle lighting is not uncommon.
As TFTP previously reported, an officer's dashcam video showed a disturbing scene unfold as a police officer stops a man on a bicycle. An unarmed, shirtless, shoeless man is mauled for several minutes by a police K-9.
The reason for the stop was the cyclist was riding without a light on his bike.