April 20, 2012
The Fresno Police Department (FPD) in California is the subject of a new lawsuit alleging extreme abuse by some of its officers that ended in a man dying. According to Courthouse News Service (CNS), unnamed officers repeatedly tasered Raul Rosas, a father of several small children, pepper-sprayed him, threw him to the ground, and ultimately drowned him with a garden hose after responding to a domestic disturbance call back in the summer of 2011.
Filed by the Claypool Law Firm in Pasadena, the suit claims that an unnamed officer tasered Rosas for at least ten minutes before “hog[tying] (him) with his ankles tied to his handcuffs behind his back.” The officer proceeded to slam Rosas down onto the ground, pressing his knee into Rosas’ back. When Rosas asked for water, the officer brought over the garden hose and essentially tortured Rosas with it, spraying it in his face until he could no longer breathe.
Ignoring pleas from nearby neighbors to cease, as Rosas was obviously no longer breathing, the officer continued to run hose water over the man’s face. Not long after, at least 15 additional deputies and officers reportedly arrived on the scene, upon which they finally decided to try to help Rosas. But by this time it was too late, as Rosas’ pulse had stopped, and efforts to resuscitate him were ultimately unsuccessful.
“After turning the water off, the Doe Officer(s) continued to press his knee against decedent’s back and continued to put pressure on it. Witnesses repeatedly asked officers to let decedent get up because he couldn’t breathe, but their cries for help were ignored,” says the suit. “Witnesses yelled at officers that decedent was not breathing and pointed to the clear spit bubbles (coming out of Rosas’ mouth) but again were ignored. Doe officer claimed decedent was ‘faking it.'”
Rosas’ children “I.R.” and “H.R.,” the plaintiffs in the case, are seeking damages for unreasonable search and seizure, violations of due process, supervisory liability, negligence, battery, violation of theBane Act, and wrongful death. The defendants in the case include FPD, as well as the County of Fresno and “Does 1-10,” which represents the unidentified officers who were on the scene, as well as the officer that perpetrated the alleged actions.
You can view a copy of the lawsuit here:
Meanwhile, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer is the subject of his own lawsuit that alleges he made multiple racist and sexist comments. Filed in Fresno Superior Court by Cynthia Sterling, an African-American woman, Chief Dyer is accused of using “stereotypical slave dialect,” as well as making other derogatory comments about the black community (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/02/25/18673016.php).
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This article was posted: Friday, April 20, 2012 at 2:57 am