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Oakland Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Personal Injury / City of Clovis Pays $1.9M to Family of Individual Killed During Domestic Disturbance

City of Clovis Pays $1.9M to Family of Individual Killed During Domestic Disturbance


The City of Clovis has agreed to pay $1.9 million to the family of a woman who was killed during a police incident. The incident occurred on March 26, 2022, when officers were called to a Clovis residence for a “disturbance.” According to the Clovis police department, the woman suffered “a medical episode” while she was being detained by police. She was given medical treatment by first responders and rushed to a nearby hospital where she later died. Officers said that the woman had methamphetamine in her system. The victim’s family filed a personal injury wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Clovis in federal court citing police brutality. The City of Clovis agreed to settle the suit for $1.9 million.

What happened?

According to the lawsuit, officers knew upon arrival that the decedent had no weapons. After 2 minutes and 30 seconds of interacting with the decedent, they decide to call for a K-9 unit. Officers alleged that the decedent attempted to stab them as justification for ordering the K-9 unit. The family accused police officers of intentionally exaggerating the behavior of the decedent to justify the use of a K-9 unit. The officers admit that the decedent “has committed no crime” and is merely a 5150 (the code for a psychiatric emergency). However, the K-9 officer, who is now at the scene, discusses a plan to drag the decedent out of the bathroom using a dog. Meanwhile, officers are forcibly holding the decedent down in the bathroom. The officers intentionally let go of the door, and the decedent opened the door.

At this point, the K-9 unit attacks the decedent. The decedent is taken to the ground as the K-9 attacks him. He appears to be attempting to put on a shirt as he is being attacked. He grabs onto one of the officer’s legs as he is being attacked by the K-9 unit. The decedent is positioned face-down on the ground. Officers then pile on top of the decedent, restricting her breathing. The entire body weight of one officer is positioned on the decedent’s upper back. The officer has his knee pinning the decedent down on the ground. Moments before the decedent’s death, the same officer can be seen repositioning his knee so that more of his weight is directed onto the decedent. After 17 minutes, the decedent has stopped breathing. Attempts to resuscitate the decedent are unsuccessful.

In this case, police officers were accused of responding too aggressively to a mental health situation. Instead of attempting to calm the victim, they immediately ordered a K-9 unit and used the dog to attack her. Then, while the victim was in a prone position, they positioned themselves in such a manner that the victim could not breathe. Ultimately, this directly led to her death.

Talk to an Oakland, CA Personal Injury Lawyer Today

The Oakland personal injury lawyers at Venardi Zurada represent the interests of grieving families in wrongful death lawsuits. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin discussing your case right away.



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