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.
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ACJP/De-Bug Member Wins Federal Civil Jury Trial Against Officer Who Used Excessive Force!

Three years ago Danny Pina walked into our Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project meeting at De-Bug with a cast on his arm, a busted nose, and a false resisting arrest charge — all for riding his bike without a light. He was determined to share the truth of what happened to him, and as it says in the paper, “bring the officer to justice.” He stayed committed, came to meetings regularly as he continued to work, and tried not to let the episode of injustice dictate the terms of his life. The District Attorney dropped the charges, and Danny, with De-Bug supporters, filed his claim against the city. When he city denied their liability, he retained an attorney and filed suit in federal court. They tried to offer him a settlement, but Danny wanted his moment in court. This past Monday, he had that moment, and he didn’t waiver from his mission. Continue reading