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The following case descriptions are brief summaries of various civil rights cases brought by Mr. Dwyer. After the descriptions, copies of the complaint are provided, and for some some cases, there is also a link to relevant video and exhibits. Please be advised that the video is disturbing. In the Howie case, there is also a copy of Use of Force manual that was revised as a condition of the settlement. This UOF manual is based upon the UOF manual that Mr. Dwyer worked on as part of the Bangert v. Placer County class action. Pending Civil Rights Cases: Strickland v. Nevada County, et al., [tort claim being filed] (Excessive Force and Wrongful Death) Gabriel Strickland was a young man who was walking on a quiet residential street, carrying a toy gun. There were no reports that he ever brandished the toy gun, threatened anyone, trespassed onto private property, or acted in any manner that was a threat to public safety. The Nevada County Sheriff and the Grass Valley police responded to a call by a citizen who was concerned about the toy gun was a real gun. Instead of calmly pulling up and talking to Mr. Strickland, the officers surrounded him with their vehicles, jumped out of their cars screaming “drop the fucking gun” over and over. Mr. Strickland was known by these officers as someone that had mental health episodes. Mr. Strickland can be seen and heard in the video telling the officers it was a toy gun, pointing to the orange band at the end of the barrel and tapping on the barrel so that the officers would know it was plastic. However, instead of de-escalating the situation and calling for a trained professional to handle Mr. Strickland, the officers escalated the situation and mounted an attack with assault rifles. Mr. Strickland stood there panicked and confused, repeatedly telling the officers that it was a toy gun. The officers shot him multiple times in the chest and leg. Mr. Strickland bled out on the street and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the local hospital. Predybaylo v. Sacramento County, et al., Case No. 2:19-CV-01243 (E.D. Cal.) (Excessive Force and failure of Medical to Report Injuries to Jail Command) This is a civil rights action over the use of excessive force by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department against Plaintiff Alexsey Predybaylo. Plaintiff was violently forced to undergo an unauthorized, post booking strip search. In violation of Sheriff Department policies, Plaintiff was led by officers into a bare concrete holding cell. With his hands held behind his back and for no reason, he was violently pulled to the concrete floor, causing a concussion. Video footage shows Plaintiff completely naked with his face pressed against the concrete floor. One officer has his leg cross Plaintiff’s neck with his knee on top of Plaintiff’s temple, while another officer has Plaintiff’s legs in a control hold. Link to video Complaint download.pdf Peterson v. Nevada County, et al., Case No. 2:19-CV-0949 (E.D. Cal.) (Excessive Force and Deliberate Indifference to Medical Emergency) Plaintiff’s leg was injured while being arrested by the City of Grass Valley Police Department. He was taken to the Nevada County jail where he was booked and placed in a cell. By the next day an infection developed at the injury site on his leg. He was examined by jail medical personnel who noted signs of infection in his chart, but then did not follow a standard infection protocol (e.g., marking the size of the infection and then checking every 30-60 minutes). By the next day the infection was serious and out of control. Plaintiff was not sent to the local ER and was not treated at the jail. Instead, late on the second day of infection he was simply dumped out the door of the jail without any medical instructions and was left him to fend for himself. Plaintiff was able to get to a nearby gas station where he collapsed. He was taken by ambulance to the local hospital where he underwent emergency treatment for a Staph A infection. There were multiple surgical procedures and he spent about 45 days recovering in the hospital. Complaint download.pdf Mkrtchyan v. Sacramento County, et al., Case No. 2:17-CV-2366 (Deliberate Indifference to Medical Care and Discriminatory Treatment) Plaintiff injured both feet while at the Sacramento RCCC jail, bruising his left heel and seriously breaking his right heel bone. Plaintiff’s right heel needed prompt surgical repair (noted in jail medical record), but he was never sent for surgery. Instead, Plaintiff was given some crutches and forced to continue housing in regular jail units with top, not bottom, bunking. Plaintiff had to drag himself across the floors of bathrooms and showers because he was unassisted and there were no ADA amenities. When he fell on stairs, guards would tell him to get up, which he could not do, so he had to crawl up the stairs. Guards disparaged him as a “jihadist” because of his Armenian features and darker skin color. Without the surgery, Plaintiff’s right heel bone did heal well and he now has a permanent disability and pain. Complaint download.pdf Completed Civil Rights Cases: Bangert v. Placer County, et al., Case No. 2:17-CV- 01667 (E.D. Cal.) (Class Action for In-Custody Use of Excessive Force) This was a class action for pattern and practice of Placer County Sheriff’s officers using excessive force against inmates at Placer County jails. The excessive force included beatings, tasings, and inapprpriate use of restraint equipment. There was overwhelming evidence and the case settled quickly with: (1) a fund for payment of claims by inmates; (2) the adoption of a new Use of Force Manual after review and revision by plaintiff’s counsel; (3) the inclusion of a check box for excessive force on the jail grievance form; and (4) a year long audit of all inmate grievances alleging excessive force that included the review of incident reports, interviews, and video. Mark Merin and Patrick Dwyer were co-counsel, with Mr. Dwyer focused on the UOF manual, new grievance form, and year long audit of use of force at the jail. Link to video: Howie v. Nevada County, et al., 2:18-CV-03146 (Excessive Force and Deliberate Indifference to Medical Needs) This was a civil rights action for the brutal and senseless use of force upon Plaintiff by Nevada County Sheriff’s Department personnel that fractured Plaintiff’s right knee. Then, after fracturing Plaintiff’s knee they put him into wrist and ankle chains and dumped Plaintiff onto his knees in a holding cell. Plaintiff pleaded for medical attention all night, and despite multiple visits by Correctional Medical Group Companies, Inc. (aka Wellpath) personnel, Plaintiff was denied any medical treatment. The next morning, the Nevada County Sheriff and Wellpath personnel rolled Plaintiff out the back door of the jail in a wheel chair, lifted him out, set him down on he curb and left him to call his own ambulance. Link to video: Complaint download.pdf The case settled for a substantial payment and required the Nevada County Sheriffs Department to adopt a new use of force policy and a new medical policy. New UOF Manual: download.pdf Akey v. Placer County, et al., Case No. 2:14-CV-02402 (E.D. Cal.) (Unconstitutional Interference With Parent-Child Relationship) The Plaintiffs were Rachel Akay and her minor son. Without any warning, without a court order, and without any substantiated evidence, the Placer County CPS removed Ms. Akey’s minor son from her custody for alleged abuse and neglect. There was no interview of the mother or the alleged abuser, and only a minimal investigation that produced no evidence of any abuse or neglect of the child. Plaintiff sued the CPS worker and supervisor for violation of her constitutional right to a parent-child relationship. Plaintiff also sued Placer County under Monell for failure to train and enforce established practices and procedures for evaluating the safety of a child. Defendants argued that Plaintiff had agreed to the removal of her child under a so-called “oral safety plan”. After a two week trial, the jury found for Plaintiffs on five of six causes of action and awarded $700,000, plus attorney’s fees. There was an error by the court on the jury verdict form, so rather than go through a re-trial, the parties settled. In addition to the settlement, Placer County CPS re-trained its CPS workers in the use of all state and federal prescribed safety assessment documentation and procedures and it abandoned the practice of un-written safety plans. Complaint download.pdf Coleman v. Placer County, et al., Case no. 2:17-CV- (E.D. Cal.) (Excessive Use of Force, Malicious Prosecution, Destruction of Evidence) This action arose from the wrongful arrest of Plaintiff and then his beating at the Placer County Jail by a group of Placer County Sheriff officers. Plaintiff was then criminally charged with resisting arrest and obstructing a police officer. During discovery in the criminal case, Mr. Dwyer found several instances of evidence destruction by the police. The DA did nothing to correct the evidentiary problem, but after video was produced showing when, where and by whom Plaintiff was beaten at the jail, the criminal case was dropped. Plaintiff then filed a civil rights action for the excessive force with additional counts against the DA and Placer County for the destruction of evidence and malicious prosecution. The case settled for a substantial sum. Complaint: download.pdf Complaint Exhibits: download.pdf Kershner v. Placer County, et al., Case no. 2:17-CV-02312 (E.D. Cal.) (Excessive Use of Force) This was an action for the beating of Plaintiff at the Placer County Jail by Placer County Sheriff officers. After discovery of video evidence showing when, where and by whom Plaintiff was beaten at the jail, the case was settled. Complaint: download.pdf Langley v. Placer County, et al., Case no. 2:17-CV-0760 (E.D. Cal.) (Excessive Use of Force) This was an action for the beating of Plaintiff at the Placer County Jail by Placer County Sheriff officers. After discovery of video evidence showing when, where and by whom Plaintiff was beaten at the jail, the case was settled. Complaint: download.pdf Phu v. Placer County, et al., Case No. 2:16-CV-0995 (E.D. Cal.) (Unconstitutional Interference With Parent-Child Relationship) The Placer County CPS removed the two daughters of Ms. Phu from her custody without a court order and without any substantiated evidence of any neglect or abuse. The action was settled with a financial payment and restoration of custody. Complaint: download.pdf