Father blames Bakersfield police for son's death

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Mar 13, 2018

SACRAMENTO — A father is suing a Bakersfield police officer, alleging breach of duty in causing the wrongful death of the plaintiff's son.

SACRAMENTO — A father is suing a Bakersfield police officer, alleging breach of duty in causing the wrongful death of the plaintiff's son.

James Raymond, as succession in interest to decedent Augustus Joshua Crawford, filed a complaint March 5 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against Bakersfield police officer Warren Martin and Does 1 to 20, alleging the defendants carried out a shooting in such grossly negligent fashion that it demonstrated a lack of regard to an individual's right to be free from unnecessary and unlawful bodily harm.

According to the complaint, on Nov. 6, 2017, Crawford had exited his vehicle near Plana Road and South H Street in Bakersfield and began running from the pursuing law enforcement officers, attempting to elude arrest. The suit says Martin became enraged because he could not physically catch Crawford and thereupon took out his gun and shot Crawford in the back 11 times, which resulted in Crawford's death. 

Raymond says Martin also conspired to deprive Crawford of medical care and has fabricated and disseminated false accounts regarding the unjustified use of deadly force. 

The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to follow police standards before applying deadly force, failed to properly communicate prior to using deadly force and failed to immediately render medical treatment at the scene.

Raymond seeks trial by jury, compensatory damages of $25,000, expenses, $50,000 for procedural due process rights violations, $100,000 for substantive due process violations, and all further relief the court deems proper and just. Raymond is serving as his own attorney. 

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California case number 1:18-cv-00307-DAD-JLT

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