SACRAMENTO, CA (March 26, 2014) — Civil rights law firm Haddad & Sherwin announced today that it has filed a federal civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Kendall Walker’s parents and young son. On July 18, 2013, officers from the Vacaville Police Department fired multiple shots killing Kendall Walker, a twenty-four-year-old, mentally ill and emotionally disturbed man, as he got out of his car near the intersection of Ulatis Drive and Nut Tree Road in Vacaville, CA.
Officers did not know whether Mr. Walker had committed any crime; he had previously acted erratically, repeatedly knocking on the door of his longtime friend, whose sister informed their mother, a police dispatcher. Walker had led police on a low-speed car chase in his Geo Metro which never exceeded any speed limit. One of the patrol cars rammed Walker’s car using the tactical “PIT” (Pursuit Intervention Technique) maneuver, which caused Walker’s car to spin around. As Walker emerged from his car apparently unarmed, posing no threat to the officers or others, officers fired multiple shots at him without warning. He died at the scene.
This shooting was witnessed by several people. Despite the family’s requests, the Vacaville Police Department has concealed their own investigation reports and even the identities of the shooters. Now that this case has been filed in federal court, Vacaville will no longer be able to hide the facts from Kendal Walker’s family and the public.
The complaint, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, names the City of Vacaville, as well as Vacaville Police Chief Richard Word and Police Officers Kenji and Valk.
This is the second lawsuit Haddad & Sherwin has brought against the Vacaville Police Department due to its officers’ use of excessive and deadly force against a mentally ill person. In 1998, Haddad & Sherwin sued the Vacaville Police Department after its officers fired fourteen gunshots at Doron Lifton, a schizophrenic man who died after eight of the shots hit him. A federal jury awarded plaintiff Rebecca Lifton, Doron Lifton’s mother, $1,208,417.00 in wrongful death damages (later reduced to about $846,000), having found that Vacaville police Sgt. Scott Paulin and Fairfield police officer Dennis Flores negligently caused Doron Lifton’s death.