(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this brain injury case and its proceedings.)
Plaintiff’s Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Bifurcate Liability from Damages
INTRODUCTION/SUMMARY OF FACTS
The plaintiff, James Santoro, is a 28 year old life long resident of Sacramento and law abiding member of the community. Before this incident he had never been arrested or had any negative contact with law enforcement. His family has been in Sacramento for three generations. His father and mother were both born in Sacramento and come from families that have always been hard working, law abiding members of the Sacramento community.
At the time of the incident Mr. Santoro was working as a file clerk for a large law firm in downtown Sacramento. Mr. Santoro had been working there for approximately two years and was an exemplary employee, well liked and well respected by all members of the firm. Prior to working for his current firm worked as a file clerk for another well-respected large law firm in Sacramento.
Sacramento police officer John Doe joined the police department in 2002 and completed his POST training and his field training with SPD in 2003. His training included training in patrol techniques, crimes in progress and foot pursuits.
January 4, 2006 was the night of the national championship football game at the Rose Bowl between U.S.C. and Texas. Many people were in the East Sac. area of downtown Sacramento to watch the game at one of the many restaurants and bars in the area.
At about 11:54 p.m. Officer Doe was parked in his police car just behind Downtown Plaza. He was flagged down by a citizen who reported a fight in progress (P.C. § 415) at Fifth and J. Officer Doe started driving there and radioed to dispatch that he was doing so. The dispatcher could not make out the location and said so, but Officer Doe failed to confirm his location and where he was going with the dispatcher.
Upon arrival Officer Doe saw five young men fighting. He failed to report to dispatch what he had and did not request back-up or a cover unit. He hit his siren and the young men stopped fighting. He got out of his car and almost immediately began a foot pursuit of one of the young men who began to leave the scene. As he did so, Officer Doe turned his back on four unknown suspects while alone on patrol and without communicating with dispatch. Several SPD policies and POST standards, procedures and guidelines were violated by Officer Doe. (See Part 2 of 9.)
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