Household of Gerardo Magdaleno will file civil rights swimsuit in federal courtroom — Ukiah Metropolis Council to fulfill in particular closed session

MENDOCINO Co., 4/5/21 – The family of Gerardo Magdaleno, the 25-year-old Ukiah resident diagnosed with severe mental illness and beaten by Ukiah Police Department (UPD) officers last week, has Izaak Schwaiger, a Sonoma County-based attorney specializes in civil rights cases and plans to file lawsuit in federal court in the near future.

Several videos of the incident were posted on social media by bystanders following the Thursday afternoon beating. They detailed how several UPD officers beat and kicked Magdaleno while he was on the ground, as well as pepper spraying him and verbally abusing him three times. at least once while already being held. In a statement made last Friday, April 2, the Ukiah Police Department called the beatings the officer carried out against Magdaleno “district strikes,” a term that is not included in the UPD Handbook or the Use of Force Policy . (See the videos here)

In a brief interview, Sage Sangiacomo, Ukiah City Councilor, said that a special session of Ukiah City Council was scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, to discuss the matter. Most of this meeting will be held in a closed session due to the legal and personal nature of the matter. The meeting will include a public comment period.

When asked about the names of the officers involved and whether they are on duty or on leave, Sangiacomo said, “I cannot speak to personnel matters.” He said the city of Ukiah would conduct an independent investigation into the beating carried out by one Should be carried out by a third party who is not employed or affiliated with the city. When asked if it would be someone from the Mendocino District Sheriff’s Office of the Mendocino District Attorney, he said it was unlikely.

Sangiacomo said the city would issue a lengthy statement on the matter this afternoon.

Magdaleno is a local man with schizophrenia and other mental health issues. Family members say he is often homeless. According to his family, he is known to the police and had a similar run a few years ago in which he was attacked by a police dog and sustained a significant wound to his genitals. Last Thursday, April 1st, around 2:45 p.m., Magdaleno, who had run out of prescription drugs for some time, stripped naked in South Ukiah near the famous Chavez market. According to his sister Luna Magdaleno, 30, from Ukiah, he had taken a dose of LSD earlier that day.

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Records of police and emergency radio scanners traffic that day show that around 2:50 p.m., multiple calls came in from a naked man who was following the traffic, and UPD press transcripts show that Officer Saul Perez responded to the call at 2:54 p.m. – presumably Perez is the first officer seen in the videos addressing Magdaleno, spraying him with pepper and cursing him.

The Mendocino voice called Ukiah PD chief Justin Wyatt, who had not responded at the time of publication, multiple times around 3:45 p.m. We also made a request for public records that the UPD did not respond to at the time of publication.

In an interview, the family’s lawyer, Izaak Schwaiger, whose office is in Sebastopol, spoke at length about the situation and said he plans to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court (based in San Francisco) against the city of Ukiah is responsible for the UPD. Schwaiger said he is likely to prosecute civil rights lawsuits for excessive violence, violations of Magdaleno’s Fourth Amendment, violations of the Disabled Americans Act, and “likely other claims” as well.

At the time, Schwaiger said, “This is an important case – it’s outrageous – so it can’t wait” and suggested that the filing would be in the next week or so.

Responding to the beating, the attorney said, “On a very basic level, it’s just rude. “It doesn’t take an advanced degree or a lot of civil rights experience to say it didn’t have to happen.” He added, “And it’s representative of a bigger problem that California and the nation are facing and that is the criminalization of mental illness. We have cops dollars and mental health pennies … and frankly, everything looks like a nail to the man with a hammer, so give a man a gun to give him as hand-to-hand combat training … and what he plans to do with it … they don’t have the training to deal with it because they are too busy training these guys to be Rambo. “

In a statement posted on Facebook, Francisco Magdaleno, Gerardo Magdaleno’s brother said: “To those of you who have stood by us and helped us change and reform the current behavior of the police, THANK YOU! I cannot express my gratitude enough. I would like to say that I am proud of you. I am PROUD of you that you used your 1st right to amend positively and courageously. My family and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You are a pioneer in our community and part of the solution and change. “

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When asked who is ultimately responsible for the beating, Schwaiger said: “Apart from the fact that [those officers are] untrained assholes, they’re just idiots, they’re bullies with badgers, and they don’t have enough training to get their job done … but the lack of training is the city’s fault, this is the boss’s fault. “

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