Orange County, California settles excessive force lawsuit involving cop who tackled man who was hugging his mom

May 7, 2010,

An Orange County, California police brutality lawsuit filed by Gabriel Celli and his mom Nancy Turner against the county has been settled. Celli and his mom were embracing each other in the street early on January 1, 2006 when they were tackled by a county deputy who then began hitting Celli. The incident was caught on videotape by the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

The altercation took place after Celli tried to break up a brawl outside his home between two deputies and his neighbor Kurt Chapman. One of the deputy's is accused of striking Celli with a baton. Police acknowledge that they hit Celli but they say that it was because he "interfered."

Another deputy, Jason Perez, then got out of his vehicle and tackled Celli and Turner, who at this point where embracing each other. Perez then hit Celli. He said that based on the information he had, he "needed to gain control of Celli" right away and that the suspect kept trying to get back up.

Celli was arrested for resisting arrest but he was later acquitted of the charge. However, Celli claims that police he "punched and kicked" him while he was in jail.

Because of the alleged Orange County, California police brutality incident, Celli said that he wasn't able to leave his home for six months and he set up cameras to record police vehicles that were parked outside his residence. He claims that the cops purposely drove by his home to intimidate him.

In their Orange County, California personal injury lawsuit alleging civil rights violations, Celli and Turner had sought $10 million. They agreed to settle for $200,000.

Orange County, California Police Brutality
Police officers are forbidden from using excessive force when detaining or arresting or jailing anyone. Often, people are too afraid to report incidents of police brutality. Just because you are a suspect or under arrest doesn't give police officers the right to violate your civil rights.

County pays $200,000 in video-taped excessive force case, OC Register, May 6, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Orange County Sheriff's Office, Orange County, California

What is excessive force?, ABC

If this happens to you, you should consult with an Orange County, California injury lawyer immediately. Even if no criminal charges are filed against the offending officer, you still may be able to obtain financial recovery.