(MintPress) – The city of Vallejo, Calif. has agreed to pay $4.15 million to a 61-year-old man in reaction to police-inflicted injuries and violations of Federal Civil Rights, according to the client’s attorneys.
The Vallejo Police Department has reached a settlement with Macario Dagdagan after officers entered his home without a warrant on the evening of June 2, 2007, woke him, fired a Taser at him twice and arrested him. They then proceeded to put him in a chokehold, which ruptured a disk in his vertebrae, causing paralysis and permanent damage to his spinal cord.
The paralysis was reversed by staff at Stanford Medical Center.
“This is yet another example of police abusing their trust and their position and putting their own needs before the needs of those they serve,” said Todd Boley, one of Dagdagan’s attorneys.
Officers John Boyd and Jason Wentz were responding to an earlier call of domestic abuse when they entered Dagdagan’s home without a warrant. A federal judge ruled that there was no immediate emergency since the officers reached the house two hours after the call was put in and that the police therefore violated Dagdagan’s constitutional rights by entering the house.
According to city attorneys, Dagdagan was intoxicated, verbally aggressive and failed to comply with police orders. Dagdagan had been accused of threatening to kill his girlfriend by slamming her into a wall and scaring her with a meat cleaver, according to the city.
Another of Dagdagan’s attorneys, Peter Alfert, stated, “Our client sued because his civil rights were violated. Through this settlement, he wants to send a clear message that all of us must not tolerate police misconduct and we will hold police accountable. The police had no justification for going into the apartment, for arresting Macario, and certainly no reason to break his neck.”
According to a statement released by Alfert, Dagdagan is now “permanently disabled and expects to have increasingly more expensive health care costs in the coming years as a result of the severe injuries he incurred.”
Officers Boyd and Wentz now work for nearby Richmond Police Department.