Palo Alto Police Department in California recently settled a case for $572,000 in a police brutality suit filed by Gustavo Alvarez in 2018. Alvarez was arrested for driving with a suspended license at the time, and he claims the police used excessive force and battery without just cause.
The ordeal began when Officer Christopher Conde spotted Alvarez’s car on the road. He would later claim to have somehow known Alvarez’s license was suspended when he spotted the vehicle. Conde followed Alvarez home to confront him. That part of the story already seems shifty as it makes no sense as to why Conde would not have just pulled the vehicle over on the spot, which would be the standard protocol?
Once at Alvarez’s home, things escalated. According to a report by Mercury News,
“Conde confronted Alvarez but admitted that he didn’t see who was driving the car, so Alvarez went into his home. Conde called for backup, and several officers, including Sgt. Benitez came to help remove Alvarez from his home. Alvarez had set up a security camera outside his door, so this was caught on video.”
His lawyers released the video of the beating earlier this year.
Captured on the video, officers can be seen breaking down Alvarez’s door, dragging him from his home, and handcuffing him while various officers beat him and at one point, slammed him against his car’s windshield. The officers can be heard taunting Alvarez and even attacking him more when Alvarez told the officers he was bleeding. Their response was an ominous one, “You’re going to be bleeding a whole lot more.”
It is not known how or why the officers identified Alvarez as gay in this incident. One of them did, though, and that sparked a level of bias added to their attack. They called Alvarez a low-life after one of the officers declared, “He’s gay!” and continued their assault, even mocking him in a false effeminate high-pitched voice.
Yes, keep in mind this whole time; these men are officers of the law who are supposed to protect and serve the residents – all residents with respect and decency.
Ultimately Alvarez’s home-captured video proved the egregious actions of the officers who had no idea they had been filmed. Still, they dared to reject the accusation sharply disputing Alvarez’s claim. That said, the Palo Alto police settled the case to “minimize the burden and expense of federal litigation.”
Uh-huh, Sure Jan, you just gave a guy half a million dollars because you were innocent? Yea, ok.
Alvarez’s attorney Cody Salfen told Mercury News,
“This case isn’t going to change the culture within the department overnight, but this settlement is definitely a starting point. It sends a message to every one of those officers that there is a problem and the time to change it is n
I applaud Alvarez for being brave enough to take on his local police department and fight for justice! These individual triumphs bring us all forward together as one global, unified LGBTQ+ community –in theory anyway.
Read the full story here: