California man says Reno police violated civil rights
RENO, Nev. ” A Sacramento man says he was trying to catch a bus when he was jumped by Reno police and Tasered for refusing to let them take his picture as police searched for witnesses to the shooting of an officer.
Gerald Marshall is seeking unspecified damages against the city, the police department and others in the civil trial under way in U.S. District Court.
Marshall, who provides security for the Sacramento Kings basketball team, on Wednesday testified his back was turned when officers jumped him early on Aug. 21, 2005.
Reno police Lt. Bruce Kirby, at the scene that morning after an officer was shot, said officers wanted to question Marshall about the shooting but became suspicious because of his aggressive behavior.
“Not until I got the look in his eyes that said, ‘I’m taking you on,’ did I touch him,” Kirby testified. “The look in his eye told me that I’m about to get hit.”
Kirby described Marshall as being “intoxicated, belligerent and hostile.” He said he and other officers used a “controlled take down” to get Marshall on the ground, and one officer used a Taser to stop him from fighting.
Marshall told the jury he came to Reno with his wife to renew their wedding vows but needed to get back to Sacramento early that day for a business meeting.
While on his way to the bus station in a cab, Officer Al Del Vecchio was shot in the face while trying to make a traffic stop nearby on a stolen truck.
Del Vecchio survived.
After the shooting, Kirby said officers secured the scene and rounded up people who might have witnessed the crime, including Marshall.
Marshall was arrested for obstructing and resisting but later released, his suit said.
“I felt I was within my rights to not be put in their database,” he testified. “The next thing I knew, I was going down.
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