Misplaced Physique Half and Wrongful Demise in Custody Are Amongst Latest Claims Towards Anaheim PoliceVoice of OC

A minor lost a testicle and another man wrongly died in custody because of the Anaheim Police Department. This emerges from two legal claims filed against the city in recent years and made public by officials last month.

City council members examined both claims in a closed session prior to their January 26 public session and took no action to resolve or counter either claim. The claims were filed in the past two years and put online by officials for the council meeting.

According to official data from Voice of OC, the city has spent at least $ 20 million over the past decade to resolve these types of claims and lawsuits against the department, among others.

One allegation discussed in the recently closed session concerned the department’s use of a police dog on a minor, resulting in the loss of one of the child’s testicles, according to the allegation filed by the child’s father in October.

The incident occurred in April 2020 after the child experienced a “psychotic episode” and allegedly “barricaded” himself in his room.

Police responding to the incident fired rubber bullets and aimed a dog at the minor, alleging “multiple police dog bites on his right arm and back” and “trauma resulting in the surgical removal of his left testicle and bruising and scarring resulted in injuries. “

The allegation alleges that the Anaheim police were negligent and did not use “appropriate” force. She is seeking at least $ 10,000 in damages and alleging the child “sustained serious personal injury and incurred medical, hospital and other related costs”.

The other lawsuit relates to the alleged death of Alejandro Alvarez Guzman in police custody in March 2019. The lawsuit contains few details but was filed by Guzman’s wife, Guadalupe Silva and his mother, Isabel Guzman Maldonado.

Attorney Sylvia Gonzalez, who represents Silva and Maldonado in their lawsuit against the city, declined to comment when asked for more details late last month.

Anaheim City spokesman Mike Lyster declined to comment on Voice of OC’s allegations, citing the confidentiality of the city’s legal discussions during closed sessions.

Such closed meetings to discuss anticipated or ongoing litigation and property negotiations are routine for local government agencies, among others.

Last month, Anaheim officials met to discuss their outstanding legal issues related to the 2018 police shooting of Kenneth John Yamashita-Magarro, who was paralyzed after being followed by police.

That year, Anaheim police officers monitored a man wanted for possible parole violations. They pursued Yamashita-Magarro out of confusion and eventually shot him eight times, according to a letter from the Orange County Prosecutor’s Office clarifying the officers of the shooting.

Yamashita-Magarro survived but was paralyzed from the waist down.

District Attorney Todd Spitzer’s office later the police put out employees involved, Detectives Paul Delgado and Peter Picone, on all criminal misconduct.

Following the incident, Yamashita-Magarro pleaded guilty to the police’s persecution and was sentenced to one year in prison and five months probation.

“It is reasonable to conclude that Detectives Delgado and Picone were right to believe that Yamashita-Magarro posed significant risk of death or serious injury to themselves and others,” wrote Assistant District Attorney Erin Rowe in the DA’s ruling -Offices.

The Anaheim police allegations, released Jan. 26, came from city data received by the Voice of OC at the request of the California Public Records Act. They reveal that Anaheim has spent at least $ 20 million since 2010 settling and countering lawsuits and legal claims by the public against the U.S. Police Station.

click here to view the data breakdown the city provided in response to Voice of OC’s request for public records.

Claims can range from “excessive violence / brutality” and “false arrest” to “dog bites” and “lost or damaged property” on the data category.

For example, a position for settlement spending between 2015 and 2016 shows that the city spent $ 1.5 million on law enforcement issues related to “excessive violence / brutality”.

City data also lists spending on police developments in categories such as “lost or damaged property”, “vehicle against pedestrians”, “errors and omissions”, “false reports” and even “pruning”.

Nearby Santa Ana spent at least $ 24 million on the same police legal issues in roughly the same period.

Read: Settling disputes with the Santa Ana police force has cost taxpayers at least $ 24 million over the past decade

Much larger U.S. cities like New York City have been known to spend over hundreds of millions of dollars in a single year to resolve cases of the same nature.

Law enforcement priority remains in local government spending an increasingly hot topic among activists and civil rights groups.

The debate intensified last summer when the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked months of protests and unrest in the United States and Orange County.

The protests hit many in Anaheim, where almost a decade ago the successive police shootings of Latinos Riots sparked in the city, which prompted the city to set up a police review body.

The effectiveness of this oversight body, which has changed over the years, has remained a subject of debate.

Brandon Pho is an employee of the Voice of OC and a member of the Corps of Report for America, a GroundTruth initiative. Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter @photherecord.

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