Wednesday , May 29 2024

Fresno Police and City Face Lawsuit

Two families claim nothing was done by police officers when they were victims of domestic violence. One victim was killed by her abuser the other left as a quadriplegic. Their families are now suing Fresno police and the city.

Both families believe appropriate actions from Fresno police officers would’ve prevented their tragedies and are now fighting for change but Fresno police chief says they already do everything they can.

A 27 page lawsuit claims at least six Fresno police officers, the police department and the city of Fresno are ultimately responsible for the death of Cindy Raygoza and a debilitating attack on Pamela Motley due to inadequate procedures.

"This is a community that desperately needs vigorous full enforcement of the domestic violence laws, in this case that sadly didn’t occur," said Attorney Kevin Little.

Chief Jerry Dyer admits Fresno has a major domestic violence problem. In 2014 they dealt with almost 8,000 domestic violence calls including Cindy Raygoza’s who was stabbed to death by her ex boyfriend.

"In civil litigation I’m not able to comment on the case because we will have our day in court to deffend those allegation. What I can say is I would be careful in believing the allegations," Chief Dyer said.

Officers responded but her attorney says it didn’t happen fast enough. Another plaintiff in the lawsuit Pamela Mötley says police knew about an extensive history of abuse by her husband but failed to prevent an attack that left her a quadrapalegic.

"To educate the police department to let them know there’s all different kinds of domestic violence and to take it more seriously," Pamela Motley said.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer has not been served with the suit but says domestic violence cases are tough because victims often refuse to leave their abusers but that the department does all it can.

"But it’s not going to be 100% all of the time and there are circumstances sometimes that are outside the control of the officer," Chief Dyer said.

The families and the attorney want officers to change the way officers respond to calls. "We’re seeking damages for the harm that has been done for both of these families but we’re also seeking change to improve the policies of the police department," said Little.

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