De-Bug Family Members Win $1 Million Civil Suit in Taser Death Case

For six years, Noreen Salinas has fought for justice for her father Steve Salinas, who was tased to death by a San Jose police officer in 2007. Noreen walked into De-Bug the week of her father’s death asking for support, and she has been De-Bug family ever since, attending regular ACJP meetings. Throughout the years, she has become our moral leader in the effort to shelve Tasers, a lethal weapon that continues to take lives. We marched, rallied, held press conferences, all under the call, “Justice for Steve Salinas.” As of last Friday, after a jury unanimously delivered a verdict in favor of the Salinas family — we have made some of the promise of that chant a reality. As you will read in the Mercury News article, this is the first win of its kind in San Jose. And that a federal jury has found that the Taser was a contributing cause of death also is a major blow against Tasers nationally. Here is Noreen in front of the mural we made of her in the basement of De-Bug, holding the Mercury News article. The title though is misleading. When a city holds officers accountable for excessive force, and a mourning family is given some peace — that city doesn’t loose, it wins. Click the image to go to Mercury News article.

San Jose Mercury News: San Jose bounty hunter, wrongly shot by LAPD cops, wins $1.65 million settlement

Mercury News: San Jose bounty hunter, wrongly shot by LAPD cops, wins $1.65 million settlement
By Tracey Kaplan January 20, 2011

A San Jose bounty hunter who was gunned down without provocation by a Los Angeles police officer while trying to take a fugitive into custody has been awarded $1.165 million by a federal jury.

The officer claimed he shot bail agent E.A. Gilbert twice in self-defense at a housing project after dark on Nov. 30, 2005, after Gilbert pointed a .45-caliber gun at him and his partner. Both said they mistook Gilbert and another bounty hunter as robbers as they were subduing a bail jumper.

But the jury last week found Officer Daniel Pearce used excessive force and believed Gilbert’s claim that his gun was never aimed at the cops. Jurors based their decision on eyewitness accounts as well as physical evidence, including the trajectory of the bullets. Continue reading