The woman was shot dead in May 2020 after locking herself in the bathroom of her East Village apartment.
SAN DIEGO — A woman is suing the city of San Diego and the officers involved after she was shot three times by San Diego police in May 2020 in her East Village apartment over a mental health crisis.
In her lawsuit, Rosa Calva, 26 at the time of the shooting, said San Diego police arrived at her one-room apartment on Market Street on May 23, 2020, without calling the psychiatric team or resorting to any de-escalation tactics. before shooting.
Officers went to Calva’s apartment that night after receiving a call that someone had thrown something on the sidewalk from a fourth-floor window.
According to a May 2020 statement from the San Diego Police Department, officers tried to talk to Calva on the street, but she refused to follow their orders. In response, the police went to Calva’s apartment. The police then used the keys to enter the apartment.
Once inside, police found Calva locked in the bathroom.
“Officials did not utilize psychiatric response teams or trained hostage negotiators to deal with blocked individuals or even make good faith attempts to persuade them,” the lawsuit reads. [Calva] Officers were there to help her.Instead, police use the key to open without warning [Calva’s] go through…”
Body camera video then shows officers using a sledgehammer to knock a large hole in the bathroom door. Moments later, an officer fired a few pepper balls from the hole. When Calva did not come out, police ordered K9 to enter the bathroom through a hole in the door. That’s when police entered and found Calva with a knife.
Warning: The following video contains images and content that may be disturbing to some viewers.
The suit added: “Then – there was no order to drop the knife, no warning that lethal force would be used, and no request whatsoever. [Officer Mike Mullins] Use deadly force— [Officer Andres Ruiz] shooting [Calva] Torso 3 times.Ruiz opened fire less than twenty minutes after police first opened fire [Calva’s] door of the apartment. “
Calva was charged with assault, but was not found mentally competent to stand trial, according to the lawsuit. After Calva completed a mental health transfer program, a judge in her case agreed to drop the charges.
Meanwhile, Calva’s attorney, Trenton Lamell, said the shooting is another example of the additional resources the SDPD and other law enforcement agencies need to implement when dealing with mental health issues.
“Unfortunately, our public policy puts the police on the front lines of the mental health crisis,” Ramel told CBS 8. “We believe that if SDPD officers had the resources and training they need to deal with people with mental illness in a crisis, they would not have shot Ms Calva or let a dog bite her arm for a full minute after she was shot. “
In addition to that, the SDPD did not release the documents and body camera footage until more than two years after the shooting, Lamere said.
“We are disappointed that it took the SDPD more than two years to release the documents and carry-on camera footage of the incident after the apparent statute of limitations in a civil rights case had expired, and only after the First Amendment Coalition threatened the public. . – Record the lawsuit.”
The San Diego Police Department and the San Diego City Attorney’s Office did not respond to requests for comment.
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