In another outrageous incident, Sonoma County Deputies killed the victim of the crime they were “solving.” Deputy Charles Blount has been fired for his overly aggressive conduct, including a choke hold, that killed David Glen Ward, who was actually the victim of a previously reported carjacking. Stunning video, finally released, shows the deputies’ use of excessive force.
Lessons learned: As we know from prior cases we’ve done (1) video changes everything — we are finally seeing first-hand shocking cases of excessive force that previously were concealed; (2) the choke hold, a slight variation from the carotid hold, is considered deadly force by many major California law enforcement agencies, including California Highway Patrol, California Department of Justice, Oakland Police Department, San Francisco Police Department, Alameda Count Sheriff’s Office, and others; (3) Mr. Ward likely also died from compression asphyxia, as we see routinely where individuals are restrained in a prone, face down position, with officers’ weight on their back — for example in the death of Steven Neuroth in the Mendocino Count jail. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals clearly identified compression asphyxia deaths as Constitutional violations more than 15 years ago in Drummond v. City of Anaheim.
This situation cries out for justice and reforms.