By Robert J. Hansen
The jury returned a hung verdict yesterday in the trial of the police shooting and killing of Darrell Richards, after three days of deliberation.
Senior U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez declared a mistrial after the jury told him they could not reach a unanimous verdict.
The wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Police Department lasted just over two weeks.
“I feel good to have the opportunity to keep fighting thanks to the one juror who believed in the truth and not the lies,” Vang said.
Richards was shot 10 times by police after running from police and an hours-long standoff that ended around 3:00 a.m. in the backyard of a Curtis Park home on Sept. 6, 2018.
“I had a bad feeling from the gate because of the selection of the jury we had,” Vang said.
Attorneys for Richards’ parents argued that police did not follow protocols and procedures during a SWAT Team situation.
“The cops sat there on the stand under oath just lying, trying to justify their evil act,” Vang siad
Melissa Nold, one of the attorneys for Richards’ parents, said the jury pool really lacked diversity, even more than usual.
“We had lots of people with close police connections, including at least one of the jurors that was seated for the trial,” Nold said. “It’s very hard to convince people that marry and date police to see fault in them.”
Attorneys for the City and police never could provide any videos of their claim of Richards pointing a pellet gun at officers.
Deputy City Attorneys Sean Richmond and Deputy City Attorney Matthew Day told the Sacramento Bee that they appreciated the jury’s work on the case.
“We understand it was a tough case to get a verdict on … and respect the conclusion of the jury,” Richmond said.
Nold said it was frustrating and emotionally draining to have to take this case back to trial.
“It definitely is, civil rights work isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s really hard to explain to the family because they sat through the trial and felt it went a different way,” Nold said.
Vang thinks the jury already had their minds made up before the trial began.
“At the end of the day it didn’t matter how good or how many facts were proven. It all lies in the hands of the jury and I knew the majority were undercover bias,” Vang said. “A lot of people are for the police until it happens to one of their loved ones.”
Nold said her team will be retrying this case as soon as possible “to get the justice and accountability Darrell deserves.”
“They already silenced my son, they will not silence us. They recklessly took his precious life then tried to criminalize his character,” Vang said. “The fight continues and doesn’t end here.”