Michael Siegel, Oakland civil rights attorney and all-around nice guy, has obtained information from the City of Oakland about police shooting lawsuits that have happened over the past decade and their resolutions.
Here's a guide to how you, too, can get a cool $1,000,000 (give or take) from the taxpayers of Oakland. Unless you're already shot dead.
The city of Oakland agreed Tuesday to... pay the family of a man who died after being arrested by Oakland police officers in 2000, a case that a federal appeals court said led to misrepresentations and stonewalling by the Police Department.Incident Date: 3/23/2000
Jerry Amaro III, 35, was arrested on suspicion of trying to buy drugs from undercover officers near 73rd Avenue and Holly Street in East Oakland on March 23, 2000. During the arrest, several officers, including now-Capt. Ed Poulson, used excessive force, breaking five of Amaro's ribs and lacerating his left lung, said the family's suit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
Settlement Date: 12/1/2011
The Settlement: $1,700,000
A man and a woman wounded when Oakland police officers fired on a suspect at a carwash are suing the officers and the city.Incident Date: 3/6/06
The $10 million civil rights suit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, said William Caldwell, 67, and Leona Savoy, 31, were injured on March 11 when three officers fired 26 rounds "a la Hollywood action movie-style," without giving "adequate consideration to the obvious danger (posed by) their rash decision."
Bullets fired from the officers' guns shattered the femurs of both Caldwell and Savoy, both of whom were cleaning cars, the suit said.
Settlement Date: 7/23/08
The Settlement: $975,000
The city of Oakland has agreed to... settle a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by an unarmed burglary suspect who was left a paraplegic after a police officer shot him in the back.Incident Date: 1/16/07
Charles Davis Jr., 46, was shot once in the back Jan. 15, 2007, by Officer Hector Chavez inside the Koinonia Apostolic Church at 9429 MacArthur Blvd.
Settlement Date: 10/12/2009
The Settlement: $1,200,000
The city of Oakland is expected to pay... to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by the family of a man who was shot in the back and killed by a police sergeant.Incident Date: 9/20/2007
Sgt. Pat Gonzales shot Gary King Jr., 20, of Oakland on Sept. 20, 2007, near 54th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way in North Oakland. King fit the description of a "person of interest" in a killing that happened the month before, and officers found a loaded gun on him after the shooting, police have said.
But in their lawsuit, King's parents, Gary and Catherine King, said their son "did not pose a significant and immediate threat of death or serious physical injury" to police and that the shooting constituted excessive force.
Gonzales "created the situation where deadly force was used," said the lawsuit, which named the sergeant, the city and former Police Chief Wayne Tucker as defendants. Among the plaintiffs was King's child, who was born last year...
Gonzales thought King was reaching for a handgun, police said... He has been cleared of wrongdoing in two other shootings since 2002, one of which was fatal.
Settlement Date: 10/8/2009
The Settlement: $1,500,000
Rookie officers Tim Scarrott and Andrew Koponen needlessly killed Officer William "Willie" Wilkins in January, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on behalf of Wilkins' family.Incident Date: 1/11/2001
Around 11:15 p.m. on Jan. 11, Wilkins, 29, was dressed in plainclothes when he tried to arrest car-theft suspect Demetrius Phillips, 18, at gunpoint near 90th Avenue and B Street.
Although one responding officer shouted, "Hey, it's Willie," uniformed officers Scarrott and Koponen were so intent on Wilkins and his gun that they opened fire, believing he was an assailant, authorities said. Wilkins never identified himself because he believed the officers were helping to arrest Phillips, police said.
The lawsuit, filed by Cochran associate Brian Dunn of Los Angeles, said that radio broadcasts "clearly identified" Wilkins as an undercover officer in pursuit of Phillips and that the officer's badge and radio were "plainly visible."
Wilkins never posed a threat to Phillips nor to the responding officers, Dunn said. "The force used against Wilkins was unreasonable, excessive and deadly."
Settlement Date: 7/19/2006
The Settlement: $3,500,000
The city of Oakland has agreed to settle a lawsuit with the family of an unarmed man fatally shot by a police officer.Incident Date: 7/24/08
Former Oakland Police Officer Hector Jimenez shot 27-year-old Woodfox in the back on July 25, 2008, as he ran from his car after being pulled over for suspicion of drunken driving.
Jimenez was fired last month for violating the police department's use-of-force policies. His attorney, Justin Buffington, says Woodfox was running toward another officer and Jimenez believed he was acting reasonably to prevent harm to a fellow police officer.
Settlement Date: 8/12/09
The Settlement: $650,000
The city of Oakland agreed... to settle a federal civil rights suit filed by the parents of a 15-year-old boy who was shot and killed by three gang-unit officers in 2008.Incident Date: 3/19/2008
Jose Luis Buenrostro was killed March 19, 2008, at 79th Avenue and Rudsdale Street in East Oakland. Police have said several gang-unit officers shot Buenrostro when he pulled a sawed-off rifle from his sweatpants and pointed it at them.
But in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Jose and Maria Buenrostro said Sgt. Randy Brandwood and Officers Eric Milina and Robert Roche drove up to their son in an unmarked car, stopped and shot him without cause.
Roche has been involved in at least two other fatal police shootings.
Settlement Date: 1/20/2011
The Settlement: $500,000
Since 2000, according to the document obtained by Mike Siegel, the City of Oakland has payed out almost $11,500,000 for what they refer to as Payouts in Force (Shooting) Cases.
Even more unsettling though, if such a thing is possible, is that total settlement costs against the Oakland Police have totalled almost $60,000,000 in the last ten years.
Oakland, with 400,000 residents... won first place with more than $57 million in payouts in just the last 10 years... Number two was San Francisco, with 800,000 people. The lodestar city of the Bay Area paid nearly $28 million during the same period... San Jose, the region's largest city with more than 1 million residents, paid out $8.6 million.One wonders what the other $45,000,000 was for. The cost of doing business, as it were.