Family of Man Who Died in Pittsburg Police Custody Takes Legal Action

The family of a man who died in Pittsburg police custody last year is taking legal action against the city, the police department and the officers involved.

Humberto Martinez, 32, died a year ago after Pittsburg officers Tased and beat him, according to a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in Oakland.

Police said that on July 26, 2016, they attempted a traffic stop on Martinez for an expired license plate registration. Martinez then led police on a short chase to a residence, where a violent struggle ensued. Police said at one point during the struggle, Martinez bit one of the officers.

Officers used a Taser on Martinez, but it was not effective, police said. They eventually got him handcuffed, and moments later, he was unresponsive, police said. Martinez was transported to a hospital, where he later died.

The incident was captured on video, which is currently in the possession of the Pittsburg Police Department.

According to an autopsy, officers broke nine ribs on Martinez’s left side, seven ribs on his right side and fractured his thyroid cartilage in his neck from a chokehold, among other severe injuries, according to the complaint.

Martinez had a criminal history, having served time in prison, and was on probation and had an outstanding arrest warrant, police said.

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