Two former Stockton, California officers were indicted by a grand jury in connection with their alleged beating of a Black teenager at the end of a car chase in 2020.
The Sept. 1 grand jury indictment against Michael Stiles and Omar Villapudua alleges felony assault by a public officer, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, and great bodily injury enhancements for both. It was unsealed Friday.
“This indictment reminds all of us that when police use unlawful force they undermine community trust,” San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said at a news conference.
She said two other officers investigated by her office for their role in the encounter faced no allegations, but she couldn’t say why because the grand jury’s transcripts were still sealed. Stiles and Villapudua were fired by the city in spring for acting outside the department’s policy and training, Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said at the time.
Attorneys for the two officers did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Stockton Police Officers Association said in a statement Friday that it “strongly disagrees” with the indictment, alleging that 17-year-old Devon Carter was a mortal danger behind the wheel and that he reached into his waistband as officers tried to detain him after the pursuit.
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SOURCE: NBC News, Dennis Romero