This week, Piccuta Law Group attorney, Charles Tony Piccuta, took the deposition of a City of Stockton police officer who participated in the use of excessive force on Piccuta’s client. At the time, the client was 16 years old and at a convenience store purchasing food while his mother was getting gas. The client was having a conversation with a store clerk about whether he could pay with a torn dollar bill when he was told to leave by someone waiting in line. The person in line was a police officer in plain clothes. The client looked at the officer and said that he wasn’t doing anything wrong. He then left the store.
The officer did not like how the client spoke to him and decided to pull the client back inside the store. The officer then grabbed the client from behind by the shoulders and pulled him back inside. Once inside, the officer slammed the client to the ground where he landed on his head. The officer then pinned the client down, by placing his knee in the client’s back, and brutally punched him in the face several times until he knocked out both his front teeth and split his lip. Another plain clothes officer stood on the client’s legs and failed to stop the attack. While the client was being assaulted, he called out for his mother to help him.
After the attack, the officer moved evidence and staged the scene in an attempt to create a record to support what he would later write in his police report. The officer carefully placed hand held shopping baskets in the middle of the aisle. The officer then wrote in his report that the two tripped over the baskets during a struggle and this is what caused the two to fall to the ground. However, video surveillance of the event clearly shows that this was not the case and that the officer also staged the evidence.
The actual photographs of the client’s missing front teeth as well as his teeth in an evidence bag are below.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right to free speech. Under law, an officer may not retaliate against someone for exercising his or her free speech. This includes the right to question and criticize a police officer. If a police officer retaliates against someone for exercising his or her right to free speech, he has violated his or her First Amendment rights.
Obviously, a police officer is not allowed to use excessive or unreasonable force on a citizen or suspect. To do so violates an individual’s rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The lawsuit Piccuta filed on behalf of the client asserts these claims among other civil rights claims.
Last year, Piccuta won a civil rights case in federal court where the jury awarded a six figure amount. Piccuta is respected and known for the civil rights cases he handles especially those involving the use of excessive force by police and other police misconduct. If you or a loved one were the victim of police misconduct or excessive force by a law enforcement officer, contact the Piccuta Law Group today for a free case evaluation.
The Piccuta Law Group has attorneys licensed in both California and Arizona and can file lawsuits in all courts in both states. As such, if any local resident is injured in Arizona, the Piccuta Law Group is able to represent them in cases in Arizona as well as California.