Swift Headline
Latest News and Updates

Parents file lawsuit alleging BPD used excessive force in fatal shooting of their son | News

A Bakersfield mother suing the city of Bakersfield Police Department over allegations a Bakersfield police officer used excessive force in the 2018 fatal shooting of her child said Monday she’s seeking justice and accountability in her federal lawsuit, which is set for trial next year.

Tametria Nash-Berry and Jason Okamoto, Christopher Okamoto’s father, are seeking an unspecified amount of damages as a result of their loss, their complaint states.

“I want justice for my son Christopher,” Nash-Berry said. “I also wanted them to have … accountability for shooting my son.”

Christopher Okamoto was shot eight times by BPD Officer Alejandro Patino, who’s also listed in the lawsuit, after BPD responded to a report of domestic violence at Okamoto’s apartment, according to a court complaint filed in October 2018.

A pretrial conference set for earlier this month was postponed until May, according to federal court records. The jury trial is scheduled for July.

The incident took place Aug. 19, 2018. Earlier that evening, Okamoto and his girlfriend, Brittney Saucedo, had gotten into an argument. A neighbor heard the argument and called police, according to a motion filed by the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

BPD officers Patino and Eric Celedon received a domestic violence report. Both officers went to the 4800 block of Hahn Avenue and had been told the incident involved a male choking a female, according to Patino’s lawyers.

This fact is disputed by Nash-Berry’s lawyers. The plaintiffs’ attorney said the police arrived about 45 minutes after the call, which shows the sense of urgency was diminished, said Rodney Diggs, a director with the law firm of Ivie, McNeill, Wyatt, Purcell & Diggs.

Patino’s lawyers said in a motion that the officer went to the front door, while Celedon did not. Patino could hear arguing and a “thud” as if something were falling. The officer then began pounding on the door and yelled, “Bakersfield Police Department. Come to the door.”

As the door opened, Patino saw Okamoto with a gun pointed at him. He was fearful he was going to be shot, and then discharged his weapon, according to the defense’s motions.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers said both Okamoto and his girlfriend did not hear the BPD announce themselves.

BPD officials declined to comment on the lawsuit on Monday. However, the shooting was ruled to be within departmental policy.

Okamoto yelled to ask who was there, after the knocks on the door, according to the plaintiffs’ motions. Neither he nor Saucedo could hear the announcements being made by Patino. They both looked through the peephole to see who was there, but could not see anyone standing outside, according to the plaintiffs’ motions.

Patino said he saw Okamoto in a “one-handed shooting stance,” and that he had a firearm in his hand, according to the plaintiffs’ filing. The plaintiffs state that Patino said he fired at Okamoto eight times.

Okamoto was hit six times.

Patino’s attorneys said in filings that Patino shot Okamoto in self-defense.

However, evidence gathered after the shooting, such as the location of Okamoto’s gunshot wounds, show Okamoto could not have been in that stance, according to the plaintiffs’ lawyers. The plaintiffs’ lawyers said if Okamoto had been correctly aligned, all the gunshot wounds would have been on the right side of his body.

A coroner said autopsy photographs are not accurate to see the directionality of the bullets, according to defendants’ lawyers in a motion.

Saucedo said she and her child were scared of the banging, so they locked themselves inside a bathroom. She never heard the BPD announcement prior to the shooting, the plaintiffs have alleged.

You can reach Ishani Desai at 661-395-7417. You can also follow her at @idesai98 on Twitter. 

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Swiftheadline is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – admin@swiftheadline.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!

Leave a comment