Here’s yet another appalling case of police brutality and illegal conduct. The police department in Vallejo, California will pay more than $4 million to the victim of an illegal home invasion by two officers that led to the man being paralyzed for the rest of his life.
Today, Peter Alfert, of the law firm of Hinton, Alfert and Kahn and Todd Boley, of the Law Office of Todd Boley announced that their client, Macario Dagdagan, received a check for a $4.15 million settlement from the Vallejo Police Department, the largest police misconduct settlement in California in the past decade. The Federal Civil Rights settlement provides compensation for an unlawful entry into the home of Mr. Dagdagan that led to him sustaining serious spinal injuries and immediate paralysis.
On the evening of June 2, 2007, Officers John Boyd and Jason Wentz entered Mr. Dagdagan’s residence shortly before midnight after responding to a call. They awoke Mr. Dagdagan, who was asleep in his bed, to ask him about a citizen complaint. Mr. Dagdagan then told the officers to leave, but they arrested him, fired a Taser at him twice and handcuffed him. The police officers then engaged in illegal and violent use of force that dislodged Mr. Dagdagan’s vertebrae and ruptured his disk, causing immediate paralysis and permanent damage to his spinal cord.
Attorney Peter Alfert stated, “Our client sued because his civil rights were violated. Through this settlement, he wants to send a clear message that all of us must not tolerate police misconduct and we will hold police accountable. The police had no justification for going into the apartment, for arresting Macario, and certainly no reason to break his neck.”
On the night of the incident, after the arrest, a police sergeant arrived at Mr. Dagdagan’s apartment. He heard the victim say that his neck was broken and observed and photographed Mr. Dagdagan’s bloody face. However, neither the sergeant nor anyone in the department conducted an investigation to determine whether the officers used excessive force.
Wait, it gets worse:
Officers Boyd and Wentz were hired by the Richmond police department after the case; however, the City of Vallejo, which is currently dealing with bankruptcy that resulted from costly police pensions, will pay the $4.15 million settlement through their insurance.
The officers should be facing criminal charges. Assault and breaking and entering are still illegal even if you have a badge.