Civil Liberties

Lawsuit Over Police Shooting in Vallejo Cites "Inadequate" Police Shooting Policy; Six Fatal Police Shootings in 2012

17-year-old begged for police not to shoot, lawsuit alleges


shot by cops
family photo

The father of one of six police shooting victims in Vallejo, California last year is suing the police department for inadequate training policies on the deadly use of force. 17-year-old Jared Huey had allegedly robbed a gas station at gun point and then fled in a stolen Jeep before crashing it and running into a backyard, where he was shot to death by police. The lawsuit claims, via the Times Herald:

Vallejo police announced: "Get the kids out of the park! There's gonna be a shoot-out!" and allegedly shouted taunts including "We'll teach you to do s— in our town!" and "You think you're slick, little boy?!"

Officers then ordered Huey to raise his hands and stay still. An officer standing on a step stool then looked over the fence before pointing his rifle over. At the same moment, a second officer pointed his gun over the fence.

"At this point, decedent [Huey] had his hands up in the air, and yelled, 'Don't shoot!' 'No! No!' " according to the complaint. The officers then collectively fired their weapons about 10 to 20 times at Huey.

Police said Huey was armed, and that a gun was found near his body after the shooting. The lawsuit, however, alleges that officers spent at least 40 minutes looking for the gun and that it was found in another yard.

The DA is reviewing all six fatal shootings, only one of which, involving a fake handgun, has been ruled justified. The other five, including Huey's case, are still pending. Local civil rights attorney John Burris called for a federal probe of the seven (one non-fatal) police shootings in Vallejo last year, saying it was "a huge number for a city this size." The population of the city is about 116,000. No federal investigation appears forthcoming. Video of the Huey shooting, caught on cellphone by a bystander, here. Fresh out of bankruptcy, last year the city of Vallejo paid out a $4.5 million settlement for a 2007 incident of police brutality that ended with a spinal cord injury for the victim.