Two recently filed federal lawsuits allege that Corpus Christi police violated the civil rights of two city residents by using excessive force, KRIS 6 has reported. One person died after an incident with police while the other was severely injured.
The lawsuit over the death of Gerardo Contreras, filed by his family, alleges that “unnecessary force” by police caused his death. The lawsuit says that while responding to reports of an attempted break-in on Masterson Drive in March, one officer stunned Contreras twice in the back and another kicked him in the head until he lost consciousness, the TV station reported.
Officers said that Contreras was acting erratically and resisted arrest, but the family’s lawyer, Chris Gale, said in the suit that Contreras displayed “signs of mental illness and impairment.”
“[What] I would expect, and I think anybody would, is that the police are going to use some measure of force. I think our concern in this case is not they necessarily used force, but that they used excessive force,” Gale told KRIS 6.
The other lawsuit was filed on behalf of Richard Salazar, who was shot three times at his home by an officer in March while police were looking for two robbery suspects. The officer said Salazar matched the description of one of the robbers and held what appeared to be a gun in his hand. It turned out to be a lighter.
Salazar had to have reconstructive surgery on his colon and will need intensive therapy on his arm, his family told the TV station. The officer involved in the shooting was placed on administrative leave.