SAN DIEGO (CN) – The California Highway Patrol and San Diego County Sheriff’s officers shot to death a Hispanic Marine who had recently returned from Iraq after a low-speed pursuit, in a case of racial profiling, his widow claims in Federal Court.
Jennifer Medina claims officers needlessly and recklessly shot 37 times at her husband, Cpl. Robert Medina, after a low-speed chase along Highway 101 in the early morning of Nov. 16, 2006.
She claims the CHP, the sheriff, and officers with the cities of Encinitas and Solana Beach all joined in the pursuit. Medina claims it was a case of racial profiling of a young Hispanic male, and that the CHP was still operating under court order after being accused of just that, and that the San Diego County Sheriff also has been accused of using unjustified deadly force against Hispanic men.
Cpl. Medina apparently refused to pull over, and ran over more than one spike strip before he was shot to death. She claims three officers shot at her husband 37 times, killing him, as he sat in his disabled pickup. She says he was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs when he was killed. And she claims the Sheriff’s Department issued false reports afterward to try to protect its officers from their “reckless killing.”
Cpl. Medina, 22, who was on active duty, had returned from Iraq less than three months before he was killed. His widow says he was suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, and that “His then undiagnosed mental illness was creating turmoil in his family relationships and adversely impacting his ability to perform at this command.” She demands punitive damages. She is represented by Anton Gerschner and Dena Acosta of Encinitas.