Police Killings in
following information was compiled by Purple Berets from news
accounts and eyewitness testimony, with help from Santa Rosa Copwatch
& October 22nd Coalition. (3/12/2001)
in Sonoma County Jail (Sheriff's Dept.) under mysterious
circumstances. The official story: when found on the cell
floor by correctional officers, Daniel "became combative and
had to be restrained." He was then taken to booking
where he began vomiting and died soon after. Inmates tell
another story -- that overwhelmingly, inmates inside think
Daniel was beaten to death. Whether or not this proves to
be true, the fact that the inmates think it's true makes the
jail a very dangerous place for inmates and correctional officers
alike. The fact that, in the face of an inconclusive autopsy
Daniel's brain was sent off for further study, and that correctional
officers involved are refusing to cooperate with Santa Rosa
police officers investigating the death only raise the suspicion
in Sonoma County Jail (Sheriff's Dept.) after six days
of in jail, apparently a suicide. Inmates we interviewed said
Barry was distressed and disoriented when he was incarcerated
and asked for mental health attention. Soon after he arrived
in the jail, Rogers' mother died, which certainly should have
alerted jail officials to put him on suicide watch, which
was not done. Some jail employees admit Rogers' death was
due to a "classification error."
dead by Santa Rosa Police (SRPD) Ofcrs. Robert Rider &
Jesse Hanshew & an unnamed Santa Rosa Jr. College Police
Ofcr after he allegedly pointed a toy gun at them. Police
responded to a 911 dispatcher's report of an armed robbery;
the store owner reported he thought the robber only had a
toy gun. Dieterle was shot less than 1˝ minutes after police
arrived. SRPD Chief Dunbaugh calls the killing a "suicide
Robert Francisco Camacho
dead by Rohnert Park Ofcr. Dan Marquez & Sgt. Donald Wagner.
Police responded to multiple 911 calls reporting gunfire in
a mobile home park. Police say Camacho, who was heavily armed,
pointed guns at them and opened fire. He was shot 5 times.
Sgt. Wagner was named Officer of the Year for the shooting.
in her home by Windsor Police Ofcrs. Mark Fuston & Tom
Howard (Sheriff's Dept.) responding to a hostage
incident. Sheriff's officials say McDonald pointed a toy gun
at them and are calling the killing a "suicide by cop." Their
explanation of how the incident happened, however, doesn't
make sense. Neighbors say deputies fired before entering the
house. We also received reports the next day that Sheriff's
Dept. employees were patching bullet holes in the front of
the house the day after the shooting.
in handcuffs after Sonoma County Sheriff's deputies
responded to an early morning call of a man behaving strangely.
Deputies claim they handcuffed Curran in order to prevent
him from hurting himself.
Phillip Tony Medina
just hours after being moved to a hospital from the Sonoma
County Jail (run by the Sheriff's Dept.). Jail
officials say Medina died of the flu, but hospital records
show that by the time he was admitted Medina already had infection
throughout his body and organs were beginning to fail. (For
more on Phillip Medina, see Another
Jail Inmate Dies.)
dead by Petaluma Police Ofcr. Roy Loden who was responding
to a burglar alarm at the homeless services center. Police
claim Rodrigues, who was homeless, came at the officer with
a bicycle fork. Loden shot Rodrigues within 2 minutes after
arriving on the scene.
after hanging herself with an article of clothing in her cell
in the infirmary of the Sonoma County Jail (Sheriff's Dept.),
the second such suicide in less than two weeks. Telzrow, who
suffered severe chronic pain from a broken back, told family
members the jail doctor withdrew her medication and gave her
nothing for the pain.
after hanging himself with an article of clothing in the infirmary
of the Sonoma County Jail (Sheriff's Dept.). Jail officials
say they had no indication Harris was in distress, but Drue's
family and friends say he was crying hysterically on the phone
with them in the hours prior to his death. Drue's mom told
the jail she was afraid her son was suicidal. The next thing
she knew, Drue was dead.
dead as he waited for a bus by Santa Rosa Police (SRPD)
Ofcr. Gregory Wojcik, who shot within 45 seconds of getting
out of his car. Wojcik was also wounded. SRPD claims Hughes
opened fire on Ofcr. Wojcik, who then shot back in self-defense.
At least 14 shots were fired. Eyewitnesses tell a different
story -- that Wojcik was injured by friendly fire from other
police, and that Dale Hughes was allowed to bleed out in the
street while paramedics took Wojcik to the hospital.
Kenneth Allen Stra
in Sonoma County Jail (Sheriff's Dept.) after one day
in custody, of undetermined causes. Stra, a heroin addict,
was the third inmate to die while in custody or within hours
of their release.
of medical problems within hours of his release from the Sonoma
County Jail (Sheriff's Dept.). Banks had spent 5 days
in the jail.
in the Sonoma County Jail (Sheriff's Dept.) two days
after her arrest on outstanding warrants. Witnesses say Holmes
was violently ill from the time she was incarcerated, and
that she and other inmates repeatedly asked for medical help.
She died, severely dehydrated and without medical attention.
(For more on Joanie Holmes, see Prostitution
is Not a Capital Crime.)
Kuan Chung Kao
by Rohnert Park Ofcr. Jack Shields with one shot to
the chest after police responded to disturbing the peace calls.
Police say Kao was waving a stick in a "martial arts manner,"
and beat on Shield's police car. According to police records,
"It was all over in a matter of seconds," -- some 34 seconds
from the time Shields arrived until Kao was shot. Investigators
found no damage to Shield's car.
Dept. SWAT Team consisting of officers from Sonoma Co.
Sheriff, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Petaluma &
Cotati police departments responded to a call of a man barricaded
in his apartment and shooting randomly into the street. The
house exploded into flame when Sheriff's deputies lobbed tear
gas into the apartment. Goodwin died in the fire.
dead with 3 shots by SRPD Ofcr. Goldschlag at Coddingtown
Exxon station. Hernandez had forgotten to pay for gas. When
he went back to pay, the clerk had already called police.
Police say Hernandez attacked the officer with a screwdriver.
by Sheriff's Dep. Michael Raasch. Frost ran after being
stopped by sheriff's deputies, including the same deputy who
had beaten him severely in a previous incident. Deputies admit
they hit Frost in the chest with a flashlight and that he
fell down the embankment into the creek. They claim they assumed
he got away. Frost's body was found the next day in Sonoma
Creek. Ruled a drowning.
Dustin Harley Clark
after being hog-tied and pepper sprayed by Sheriff's Dep.
Joe Quinn after deputies responded to a report of a naked
man in the street acting bizarrely. When they arrived Clark
was clearly under the influence of drugs and very agitated
-- conditions that contra-indicate the use of pepper spray.
dead by SRPD Jesse Rangle responding to a call that
Saunders was threatening to kill himself. Police say they
shot because they thought Saunders was going for a gun. Saunders
was unarmed, and a witness says his hands were raised above
his head when he was shot.
dead by SRPD Sgt. Jim Carlson inside Santa Rosa police
station after he reportedly came at officers with a pipe.
Police say they used baton and pepper spray which failed to
stop Robbins. The video camera in the station lobby was "off"
during the incident. Robbins had had a previous encounter
with police and claims he was beaten by them. A Grand Jury
investigation criticized both police and District Attorney
Mike Mullins for their sloppy investigation of this incident.
by Santa Rosa Police (SRPD) Ofcr. Norm Stevens who
responded to a call of a fight between Hopper and his brother.
When police arrived, Hopper had left the scene and police
pursued in their car. They say Hopper knocked Ofcr. Stevens
to the ground, struck him with his fists, and was coming at
him with a length of pipe raised over his head. Yet an eyewitness
reports he saw police beat another witness to the ground because
he refused to go along with the police version of what happened.