Suits Allege SJPD Used Excessive Force

By RJ Middleton
|  Monday, Apr 25, 2011  |  Updated 7:18 AM PDT
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Suits Allege SJPD Used Excessive Force

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The San Jose Police Department is under fire, yet again. This time for excessive force and racial profiling, according to the allegations in two federal lawsuits, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

City officials and representatives have denied the allegations that include police parking a car on a suspect, "busting a man's eye socket," and arresting a woman who protested that the man was not resisting arrest.

The alleged events took place two or three years ago -- and the police maintain they have made policy changes around any aggressive policing -- but some still perceive the SJPD as a violent entity.

Both litigants are Latino.

In the first case, Jesus Gomez and his sister, Cristela, were stopped for a minor traffic violation.

Police reports say Jesus was resisting arrest. He was allegedly thrown to the ground and kneeled on until he blacked out. Later, the suit maintains he was slammed head-first on the cruiser's trunk and then tripped, made to fall face-first onto the pavement, leading to profuse bleeding.

"His sister was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication and spent the night in jail," according to the Merc. That charge was later dismissed.

In the second suit, Luis Chacon says he was run down by an SJPD officer, who stopped the chase "only when his patrol car was parked on the suspect's knee."

There are 28 use-of-force lawsuits still pending agains the department, according to the city attorney and Mercury News.

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