Charles Tony Piccuta Featured in NPR Podcast About Police Excessive Force Case He Won Against City of Stockton Police
On June 10, 2021, National Public Radio, in conjunction with KQED, released its latest podcast from the “On Our Watch” series. The On Our Watch series of podcasts was created by investigative reporters from NPR and KQED. After a police transparency law was passed in California, scores of previously confidential documents and internal affairs files were made available to the public. Criminal justice reporters, Sukey Lewis and Sandhya Dirks, examined these documents and corresponding cases to gain a glimpse into the furtive and shadowy world of police disciplinary processes. One of the cases they examined was that of Joseph Green.
Joseph Green was assaulted by a City of Stockton Police Officer, Robert Johnson, in a Stockton convenience store back in 2011. At the time Green was only fifteen years old. The dispute between Johnson and Green was verbal until Johnson escalated the situation by grabbing Green from behind. Johnson then slammed Green to the ground and punched him in the face multiple times knocking out his two upper front teeth. After Green was handcuffed and lying face down on the floor, Johnson took the back of his head and smashed his face into the linoleum.
Johnson claimed that his actions were justified and that he only applied distraction strikes to Green. Johnson denied that he took Green down. Instead, he said that they tripped and fell over shopping baskets. Johnson also denied smashing Green’s face into the floor. Surveillance footage suggested otherwise. Surveillance footage also revealed that Johnson had staged evidence. Specifically, the shopping baskets by placing them in the aisle (where they were never located) and photographing them for the police report.
Johnson was found to have used excessive force by the police department after an internal affairs investigation. However, that decision was later appealed and overturned by an arbitrator who never even heard from Joseph Green or the other officer who was present. As a result, Johnson was not disciplined at all.
The City of Stockton refused to pay Joseph Green for what happened to him. The City of Stockton did not even offer to pay the amount needed for Green to receive dental work to replace his front teeth. As a result, Joseph Green hired a Stockton-area attorney to handle his case and recover his damages. However, the attorney Green hired refused to take his case to trial. Instead, the attorney urged him to take a settlement of approximately $30,000. After Green refused, the attorney said he would no longer be representing him and told Green to find a new attorney.
Green found Charles Tony Piccuta from the Piccuta Law Group. In January 2020, Piccuta conducted a two-week jury trial and proved Joseph Green’s case. The jury awarded Joseph Green over $700,000. More importantly, the jury held Johnson accountable for his misconduct.
The latest installment of the On Our Watch series is about the Joseph Green case. The podcast episode is entitled “Perceived Threat.” Charles Tony Piccuta is featured in it and discusses the case and the actions of Johnson beginning at the 20:00 mark in the podcast episode. Many of the interviews played in the podcast were played by Piccuta at trial.
You can listen to the podcast episode on NPR’s website by clicking the link below.
You can also listen to the podcast episode on Spotify by clicking the link below.
The podcast episode can also be found on several other podcast platforms.
Contact an Experienced California Civil Rights Lawyer If You or a Loved One Was a Victim of Police Brutality, Excessive Force or Other Police Misconduct
If you or a loved one has experienced a violation of your civil rights, contact the Piccuta Law Group today. Our law firm specializes in civil rights cases. We have litigated civil rights cases in every district in California and Arizona. We have obtained civil rights jury verdicts in both state and federal court. We regularly advance claims involving police excessive force, police brutality, police misconduct, failure to protect prisoners, deliberate indifference to medical needs of inmates, among other claims. A consultation is free and we only earn a fee if we recover for you. An experienced civil rights lawyer is available now to discuss your case by phone. Call us today or send us an email.
About the author: The content on this page was written by California civil rights lawyer and Monterey personal injury attorney Charles “Tony” Piccuta. Piccuta graduated with honors from Indiana University-Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana (Ranked Top 35 US News & World Report 2018). Piccuta took and passed the State bars of Arizona, California, Illinois and Nevada (all on the first try). He actively practices throughout California and Arizona. He is a winning trial attorney that regularly handles serious personal injury cases and civil rights lawsuits. He has obtained six and seven figure verdicts in both state and federal court. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers for six years straight. He is AV Rated by Martindale Hubble. He is a member of the Consumer Attorneys of California, American Association for Justice, National Police Accountability Project, Arizona Association of Justice, Maricopa County Bar Association and Scottsdale Bar Association, among other organizations.
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