Sacramento police hit him with an SUV during a chase. Now, the teen is suing the city

Citing a “string of recent excessive force incidents” by Sacramento police, a prominent civil rights attorney is suing the city over an incident last July during which a police SUV struck a 16-year-old boy who was fleeing officers after being stopped for riding a bicycle at night without lights.

Oakland attorney John Burris filed the lawsuit in federal court in Sacramento alleging excessive force, assault, battery and negligent infliction of emotional distress by the officers involved in the July 22, 2018, incident in the 900 block of Eleanor Avenue.

The teen was stopped at about 10 p.m. for bicycle code violations, including riding at night without lights, and fled during questioning, police said. A police SUV pursuing him struck the teen on a sidewalk, sending him onto the hood and then knocking him back several feet.

The incident sparked a tense standoff as police formed a skirmish line to keep angry citizens at bay while they tended to the teen, who is described in the suit as suffering “serious injuries to his legs and body and emotional distress.”

Police later released body cam and car video of the incident and said the vehicle was traveling at 27 mph when it struck the teen. Police spokesman Vance Chandler said at the time that the crash was “an unintended collision” and that the officer was driving “too fast to make that turn.”

City officials declined to comment, saying they had not yet been served with the lawsuit.

The suit seeks general, special and punitive damages, and claims that the teen, identified only as “D.B.,” and his mother, Renea Mcentee, who heard the crash and came out to find her son calling her name, “suffered extreme emotional distress.”

The lawsuit also notes that Sacramento police have been involved in a series of high-profile use-of-force incidents, including the July 2016 Joseph Mann case in which officers tried to hit the mentally ill man with their car, then shot him to death, and the March 2018 shooting death of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man who ran from officers.

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