From [HERE] The city of Oakland will pay a teenage girl and her family $60,000 following an allegation that an officer punched the girl in the face in an excessive use of force.
City Attorney Barbara Parker recommended the City Council approve the settlement at a Dec. 11 meeting “in order to avoid the risk of an adverse jury verdict under the circumstances.”
The payout stems from a Nov. 16, 2016 incident, when police were investigating a shooting at a residence on E Street in East Oakland, according to court records. Miesha Singleton arrived at the home with her 14-year-old daughter as officers were responding, and the mother told officers that her husband and son were inside the residence. Singleton went inside the home despite the police officers’ warnings, city attorneys said.
Meanwhile, a female officer allowed the girl to stay in her mother’s car to care for her infant brother, the girl’s attorneys wrote in court records.
During this time, Officer Anthony Martinelli confronted the girl and demanded she exit the car, according to the family’s attorney. The girl explained that she was in the middle of feeding her brother and it was cold outside, but Martinelli “forcefully yanked” her out of the car and another officer handcuffed her.
As the girl questioned the officer’s actions, “Martinelli brutally punched (the girl) in the face,” her attorneys said.
In December 2017, civil rights attorney John Burris filed a federal suit against Martinelli and the city of Oakland, alleging unlawful seizure, excessive force and other constitutional violations.
Martinelli denied the allegations through court records, saying the girl “did not exercise ordinary care, caution, or prudence to avoid the alleged event.” In a later court document, the city acknowledged that the officer struck the girl but alleged she refused to comply with his orders.
City attorneys wrote that Officer Martinelli tried to pull the girl out of the car but she “physically resisted,” leading him to strike the 14-year-old “with an open hand to distract and detain” her.
Martinelli, who graduated from the police academy in 2013, was involved in another controversial incident in 2014 when he detained an off-duty Black firefighter and his 9 and 11 year old sons at a fire station at gun point that had been accidentally left unlocked. A complaint filed said that the incident terrorized/niggerized the Black man and his sons but after Oakland PD reviewed itself it found that the officer acted within their policy. [MORE]
The City Council’s Dec. 11 vote is mostly a formality. The council authorized a settlement in the case during closed session in September.
Burris said the ordeal was a “horrible experience for the kid. We’re glad to be able to bring some closure.”
The attorney added that the city acted responsibly by settling the case. Of the $60,000, Burris said, $45,000 will be awarded directly and $15,000 will be set aside for any future therapy expenses or schooling for the girl.
Oakland police and city attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment.