City of Stockton Pays $6 Million to Family of Man Killed by Police

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City of Stockton Pays $6 Million to Family of Man Killed by Police

STOCKTON- The City of Stockton will be paying $6,000,000 to the family of a man for the October 8, 2020 in-custody death of Shayne Sutherland who was suffocated while being restrained. Sutherland was restrained by Stockton police officers at the AM/PM on Trinity Parkway after he called 9-1-1 asking for a taxi and clerks called police saying he was threatened them and customers. The Stockton Police Department released Bodycam footage showing Sutherland, a 29 year old youth football coach who admitted to being high on drugs, trying to run away after being seated by the officers. The officers then tackled him to the ground while one held him down and another pressed a baton against his shoulder.

Sutherland can be heard pleading for help stating he couldn’t breathe. One officer continued to press his weight on him even as the other warned him that he was “changing colors”. Sutherland lost consciousness and stopped breathing, being pronounced deceased at the hospital.

“At the time he was killed, Shayne was unarmed, handcuffed, in the prone position, not resisting, and posing no harm to anyone,” V. James DeSimone, the family’s attorney stated. “Still, while he pleaded for his life, at least one police officer used his full body weight to literally crush the breath out of him. This violates well-established law enforcement standards and training, and the United States Constitution. This has to stop.”

This lawsuit is the latest settlement to be paid by Stockton’s government under the failed leadership of City Manager Harry Black who is responsible for the Stockton Police Department.

The Stockton Police Officers responsible were Ronald Zalunardo and John Afanasiev. It is unknown if they were disciplined in any way.

Shayne left behind a young son and daughter along with their mother. #stockton

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