Unarmed Man Wins $400,000 Settlement after Sacramento Police Shoot at Him 20 Times in 2021

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By The Vanguard Staff

SACRAMENTO, CA – Although it took the city of Sacramento more than six months to admit it, taxpayers, it was learned this week, will be paying $400,000 to an unarmed man shot at by Sacramento police more than 20 times—nine shots hit him—in February 2021.

While one officer—Nicholas Caro—is still on active duty, another officer, Eric Toomey is not, city spokesman Tim Swanson said this week, unable or unaware if Toomey was fired, according to a story in the Sacramento Bee.

All Swanson told the Bee was, “The city determined it was appropriate to work with the plaintiff to reach a fair and reasonable agreement that resolved the issues and satisfied the involved parties.”

The Bee also wrote that the city has not made public any investigative or disciplinary documents in the more than two years since the incident, although the city has released video of the shooting.

“The Sacramento Police Department on Feb. 24, 2021, released video of two officers shooting at a minivan driver after a vehicle pursuit that ended in an industrial park. Adan Martinez was arrested on suspicion of arson, stalking and evading police,” the Bee story said.

Adan Martinez got an alert to come to the house of his children’s mother because his vehicle was on fire and his belongings were being burned, according to the federal lawsuit filed in July 2021. 

When he arrived, Martinez found the car in ashes and police waiting for him, and he drove away from the College/Glen residence, the lawsuit alleged, noting Martinez was run into by a police vehicle, and officers fired more than 20 shots into the windshield, hitting him nine times in the shoulder, arm, chest, pelvic area, stomach, hand and wrist. 

The lawsuit says Martinez has lost the use of his left hand in the wake of the injuries, wrote the Bee.

According to a police account, said the Bee, “a woman called 911 to report her ex-boyfriend, against whom she had a restraining order, had burned their vehicle, threatened to kill her and was possibly armed. Police said at the time that Martinez had set the vehicle ablaze and had threatened the woman.”

After the chase, which reached speeds of 80 mph, wrote the Bee, “video released by the department in the wake of the incident showed the officers shouting demands at Martinez. Officers told Martinez, ‘Hands up! If you f—— move, you get shot!’”  

Police said Martinez began making a three-point turn and attempted to turn the minivan he was driving around. Police said two officers opened fire as the minivan moved forward.

Martinez was charged with false imprisonment, arson, fleeing from a police officer, drug possession, stalking and violating a restraining order, according to Sacramento Superior Court records. He pleaded no contest to false imprisonment and fleeing from a police officer. The rest of the charges were dismissed.

The settlement agreement, effective in February, was posted to the city’s website last week, reported the Bee.

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