“That’s the kind of aggressive-ass policing I’m talking about!” That’s what one Vacaville officer said on camera, when he didn’t realize his camera was on, after his sergeant had shot and killed a mentally ill man whose car they had just chased and forced to crash. We handled that case in 2017 for the family of Kendall Walker, resulting in a million-dollar settlement. Sixteen years earlier, we had to take Vacaville to trial to win another million dollar verdict for the mother of Doron Lifton due to Vacaville’s wrongful shooting of that harmless mentally disturbed man.
It seems Vacaville police have not learned their lesson. Early this morning, they again used overly aggressive tactics to catch a man in a stolen car, engaging in TWO officer involved shootings, before finally killing the apparently unarmed man as he ran away from them. See CBS Sacramento, “Chase Involving Stolen Vehicle Ends in 2 Officer-Involved Shootings in Vacaville.”
In this country, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. And even if guilty, the legal criminal penalty for car theft is not the death penalty. There is no place for government-vigilante street justice here. We must stand up and oppose such unnecessary and overly aggressive police tactics. We remain ready to aggressively and ethically represent families who have suffered the loss of loved ones due to unlawful police misconduct.