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San Jose man files $10M lawsuit against Mountain View after police pull him out of car window

Original post made on Apr 22, 2021

A San Jose man is suing the city of Mountain View for $10 million, alleging police officers illegally arrested him in 2019 and used excessive force when they dragged him out of his car window.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 22, 2021, 10:40 AM


Posted by Lenny Siegel2
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 22, 2021 at 12:12 pm

Lenny Siegel2 is a registered user.

I would like to know what Mountain View's policy is on "pretext" stops. That is, does our Police Department normally stop or approach vehicles on the pretext of a possible registration violations. I would also like to know how many of the thousands of annual vehicle stops are based on such minor, non-urgent questions. Finally, I would like to know if such encounters are the primary reason why Mountain View police disproportionally encounter black and brown people in their daily routines.

Posted by Peter
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 22, 2021 at 1:02 pm

Peter is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

Posted by Yonatan
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 22, 2021 at 2:05 pm

Yonatan is a registered user.

All 3 of these officers should be fired immediately. What the police did is evil.

Posted by Ron MV
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 22, 2021 at 3:04 pm

Ron MV is a registered user.

@Yonatan "evil" seems a little hyperbolic. The officers found the plates unregistered and he then refused to identify himself. That starts to add up to something seeming suspicious. They already had him detained with the cars and tire strip, so I would have preferred that they call for that supervisor rather than try to pull him out of the car, but their actions were overly aggressive, not "evil" in any way.

Posted by JS
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 22, 2021 at 3:11 pm

JS is a registered user.

@Lenny Siegel2 - A registration violation is not "minor." No registration means no insurance. That means when this person hits you and severely injures you, you get NOTHING. It's happened to 2 of my friends. [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

Posted by Me
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 22, 2021 at 4:09 pm

Me is a registered user.

>A registration violation is not "minor." No registration means no insurance.

You know what else isn't minor: insurance fraud, insider trading, and a host of other "white collar crimes" which are far, far worse than not registering your vehicle.

And yet strangely no one would say "yeah the cops should physically pull white collar criminals out of their vehicle and onto the pavement."

It's almost like that's only ok when it's a minority poor person ...

Posted by Tina
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2021 at 7:10 pm

Tina is a registered user.

You do not have to be a person of color to be abused by the MTN view police. My husband had a minor accident avoiding hitting another vehicle and instead he hit a no parking sign.
The total damages to the sign was less than 300. We got a bill for it a year later. The police tried to get him on a DUI, reckless driving, unlawful racing and various other trumped up charges.He has not had a ticket in 40 yrs., he drives a Lincoln by the way. The cops can put anything they want on a ticket, they can lie too, as our attorney pointed out. A year later and 8000 dollars for tow charges and attorneys fees. He was convicted of disturbing the peace which is a misdemeanor and 20 full days of community service, which he actually enjoyed. He has learned to be a good landscape maintenance guy. I will never trust the cops ever again.

Posted by Tal Shaya
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2021 at 8:03 pm

Tal Shaya is a registered user.

So cops roughed up a local because his car wasn't registered in the DMV database? He's right to sue the city. That $10M will come out of our children's schools. Thanks, MVPD. Let's hold the police accountable for their actions instead of giving them a blank check to violate civil rights.

Posted by Susan
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 22, 2021 at 9:07 pm

Susan is a registered user.

@Tina, I am sorry for what happened to your husband & I have a similar story. The bottom line is that I believe officer training is inconstant because most MV officers are quite competent, while others are dangerously undertrained. For example, arrest reports have a blank space to indicate whether an alleged crime is a misdemeanor or a felony. The officer, who likely has no legal training, is allowed to determine whether the alleged crime is a misdemeanor or a felony. This choice determines how & when the suspect will be arrested, detained, charged, bailed & released. At the time I was arrested fifteen years ago, after a verbal argument with my Asian postal carrier on my own condominium property during which he threatened me with physical harm, the responding officer charged ME with a felony. To this day, I do not know why this Latina officer, who carried a gun and a taser, decided that a middle-aged white woman with a cane was such a threat to society the she needed to charged with a felony. I am identifying our ethnic origins because the only reason that my lawyer could think of that I was arrested instead of the postal carrier was that the very junior officer viewed me as a rich, privileged white woman who dared to argue with a U.S. postal carrier. The carrier kept misdelivering my mail and that of my neighbors. The carrier's supervisor had just left my property after speaking with me to take my statement on the misdelivered, missing and mangled mail we received over the past 6 months. My lawyer theorized that the carrier saw his supervisor leave and knew he was in trouble. Had I not called the police myself to report the carrier's threat to harm me, I never would have been arrested. My attorney got the charge reduced to a misdemeanor to which I plead nolo contendre (I don't agree with the charge, but I'm not going to argue anymore). The entire mess cost me about $10K including the attorney's fees to have my record expunged two years later.

Posted by Santa Rita Mom
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 22, 2021 at 11:11 pm

Santa Rita Mom is a registered user.

May be those of you who think the police are terrible should refrain from calling them when criminals victimize you. It would certainly free up their time to help those of us who appreciate what they do every day.

The current climate has bred such disrespect for the law that EVERYONE is endangered. Whatever happened to people following directions from the police when they are stopped? That was what I was taught to do and, oddly enough, I have NEVER had a problem when interacting with law enforcement. Then again, I also refrain from doing criminal activities.

The police have a dangerous job. One that very few people have the courage and dedication to do. They are also human and they do occasionally make mistakes. That doesn't make them evil or criminal - just fallible. It is outrageous to expect anyone to do this job if they are demonized at every turn.

How about we get back to holding those who are committing crimes responsible for what they do? If they are going to break the law, then the least they could do is cooperate with law enforcement when they get caught. As for those who spend their time demonizing the police every time a criminal is killed or injured when they resist arrest, maybe you should consider how much worse things would be if they WEREN'T there. Maybe you're good with risking your life by reducing our police presence, but it is not your right to risk MY life with such foolishness.

Posted by Jt
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2021 at 11:42 pm

Jt is a registered user.

Opinions are like a*******s everyone has one and some stink more than others. Now if the man that was removed from his vehicle had ran a stop sign or red light and refused to pull over until reaching his destination that would be one thing. But it said that he was in his car warming it up to start his day. When did sitting in a vehicle that is on become a crime? The officer said that he didn’t know why the DMV didn’t update on their end..... did I miss a crime that was committed? Where is the part of the police report where the citizen committed a crime or was suspected of committing a crime... TOO MUCH POWER AND TOO MUCH FREEDOM..... when everyone goes to work are there not rules that are in place? When every officer starts their day are they saying to themselves “I am the law” or is it “ I will uphold the law” protect and serve was the common motto but in recent years “protect and serve” has become a thing of the past. This man had proof the vehicle was his even if the DMV info was not updated maybe de- escalation is a thing of the past too..... THE POLICE HAVE TOO MUCH POWER AND TOO MUCH FREEDOM I am still in awe of the unjustified shootings where the person didn’t even have a weapon like police are so incompetent that they can’t tell the difference in weight between their taser and their standard issue I know there are thing that distinguish tasers from guns and the police work with the both of them on the daily so how can the words “ I thought it was my taser” come out of an officers mouth as a shot gets fired

Posted by Mark
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 23, 2021 at 6:11 am

Mark is a registered user.

Police Dept's need to stop hiring stupid.

Posted by Tina
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2021 at 8:39 am

Tina is a registered user.

We don't believe the police should be underfunded, in fact there should be more money available for better training and vetting of officers. Also, as we found out because of our unfortunate insident, there is the law and there is police policy, which the public does not need to know. It's as if there are two separate laws. I have a suggestion that would free up a lot of money for a new police force. Instead of there being a police force for each city, let's have one for each county. We would have fewer police chiefs, captains, loutenants, sargents etc.that receive pays in the 200k+. Of course, this is a dream and it will never happen because the powers that be will not give up their fifedom.

Posted by FrankSki
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 30, 2021 at 8:58 pm

FrankSki is a registered user.

@Susan. I always thought the California Penal Code (via our Legislators) determined whether an alleged crime or actual crime was a misdemeanor or felony? Has something changed?

Fact: Police don't make laws.

Jus' sayin'.