Family of Luke Smith files wrongful-death suit

SANTA CRUZ >> The household of 15-yr-previous Luke Smith filed go well with claiming the boy’s civil and constitutional rights have been violated when a deputy shot and killed him final yr on a Corralitos roadside.

The case lists six defendants: Santa Cruz County, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart, deputy Chris Vigil, the Metropolis of Capitola, Capitola Police Chief Terry McManus and officer Pedro Zamora, whose Okay-9 was used simply earlier than the capturing Nov. 19, 2016.

The go well with, filed in U.S. District Courtroom in San Jose, alleges officers lacked coaching to stop unreasonable lethal pressure.

Luke’s father, Ian Smith, stated he referred to as 911 after his son acted irregular and erratic — the consequences of LSD — on the household’s residence on the finish of Amesti Street. Luke had stabbed his father and uncle and fled the house.

Authorities situated Luke between his residence and the 300 block of Pioneer Street, 1 / 4-mile away. Officers watched him and spoke by loudspeaker as Luke gripped a knife. A few quarter-mile from his residence, on the 300 block of Pioneer Street, the massive teenager was flailing towards a picket fence because the officers closed in. He dropped the knife and picked it up. Foam rounds, Tasers and the Okay-9 have been used earlier than Vigil shot Luke within the chest.

The grievance, filed Sept. 1, alleges the capturing was a constitutional violation of: unreasonable search or seizure; unreasonable pressure throughout an arrest or detention; and wrongful authorities interference.


Damages are sought to compensate for funeral and burial bills; lack of relationships; alleged constitutional violations; ache and struggling; and different financial elements. A certain amount is just not sought.

The sheriff’s workplace launched sixteen minutes of bodycam footage of the negotiations and the capturing.

“I don’t assume anybody of their proper thoughts might watch the video and are available to the conclusion that the boy wanted to die proper then and there. No one watching that video might fairly say that he posed a direct menace to anybody on the scene,” stated Santa Rosa lawyer Charles Applegate. Applegate, and attorneys Brendan Kunkle, Michael Inexperienced and Scott Montgomery, characterize the plaintiffs. The go well with was filed by Luke’s sister and his mom, Thanh-Thanh Hoang.

“The police aren’t alleged to kill us due to the likelihood that our actions might turn into harmful within the close to future,” Applegate stated.


The sheriff’s workplace held two…

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