$1.3 Million for Police Shooting of Mentally Ill Man with Hammer

The Vacaville Police Department paid $1.3 million to avoid trial after their overly aggressive tactics escalated a situation with a mentally ill man. The police shot Kendall Walker, 24, when he exited his car with a hammer in his hand. Knowing that he was paranoid, the police had manufactured a pretextual traffic stop, held Kendall at gunpoint, then when Kendall slowly drove away, they pursued him, and intentionally twice crashed his car with a patrol car. Officers said they just wanted to talk with Kendall, because Kendall had "bothered" the daughter of a VPD member. Kendall's case was brought by his parents and his seven year old son.

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Related Headlines
  • Vacaville to pay $1.3M for deadly 2013 police shooting
    Jess Sullivan, Daily Republic, May 4, 2015

    FAIRFIELD — The city of Vacaville will pay out $1.3 million to the family of a man shot and killed by Vacaville police in 2013. The payment will bring to a close a wrongful death lawsuit filed last year in federal court in Sacramento involving the killing of Kendall Walker, 24, after a slow-speed police chase on the night of July 18, 2013. ... “Police are trained to de-escalate situations. In this case Vacaville police escalated the situation and needlessly killed a man,” said Michael J. Haddad, the attorney for Walker’s family. Haddad & Sherwin previously sued Vacaville for a 1997 police shooting that killed Doron Lifton. ... A jury in 2001 in a federal wrongful death lawsuit awarded Lifton’s family $1.2 million. Walker and Lifton both had long histories of mental illness. “It’s been nearly 15 years since the Lifton lawsuit and here we have the same police department facing the same allegations,” Haddad said. “Hopefully this will now force the department to update its training.”

  • Vacaville to pay $1.3 million in 2013 officer-involved shooting of mentally ill man
    Ryan Chalk, Vacaville Reporter, May 4, 2015

    The family of a mentally ill man shot and killed by Vacaville police in 2013 have reached a $1.3 million settlement with the city of Vacaville, attorneys announced Friday. The settlement comes in connection with the officer-involved shooting of 24-year-old Kendall Walker, of Fairfield. Walker was fatally shot by police after a slow speed pursuit in Vacaville on July 18, 2013, that escalated after officers were confronted by Walker who allegedly exited his vehicle wielding a hammer and a knife. The notice of settlement, according to Oakland civil rights attorney Michael J. Haddad, was filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Walker’s parents and his 7-year-old son, Haddad said, and named the city of Vacaville and members of the Vacaville Police Department as defendants. Haddad claimed that Walker’s only crime that day was speeding, and officers pulled their guns on him with no justification during an earlier traffic stop. Further, officers were aware in advance that Walker suffered from mental illness. ... Haddad maintained that officers provoked the situation and wrongly applied the use of deadly force on a non-dangerous, mentally ill individual. “His parents would gladly give back this money and more to have their son back,” Haddad said.