VACAVILLE — The parents of a 24-year-old Fairfield man who was shot and killed last year by Vacaville police filed a civil rights wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday in federal court in Sacramento.
The lawsuit against the city of Vacaville also names former police chief Richard Word, officers Tomi Kingi and Daniel Valk and others as defendants.
Kingi and Valk were involved in a low-speed pursuit of Kendall Walker on the night of July 18, 2013, that came to an end near intersection of Ulatis and Christine drives, according to the lawsuit. Kigni on Thursday said he was not on duty at the time of the incident.
A few minutes before the pursuit, Walker’s ex-girlfriend called police to report that Walker had been at her home and threatened her. Police spotted Walker driving from the home in his Geo Metro and tried to make a routine traffic stop. After Walker refused to yield, police tried to throw a spike strip in the path of his car, which he avoided. Then police rammed Walker’s car vehicle twice, stopping the Metro.
Walker got out his car with a hammer in one hand and a knife in the other, according to police. Walker then moved toward the police “in a threatening way,” according to police, prompting police to shoot Walker several times.
The lawsuit makes no mention of the hammer or knife and claims Walker had no weapons in his hands and “posed no significant or immediate threat of death or injury” to police that would justify their use of deadly force.
The lawsuit blames Walker’s death on “unreasonable, reckless, excessive, unlawful and provocative (police) tactics.”
Walker was no stranger to local police. He was arrested in 2009 for reckless driving without a valid license and resisting arrest. That landed him a punishment of having to work 300 hours of community service along with regularly attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Vacaville police arrested him in 2010 for felony domestic violence and assault. He was arrested again in 2011 for brandishing a weapon and vandalism.
The lawsuit also claims police violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not accommodating Walker’s mental illness as they stopped him and shot him.
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Correction: This version clarifies the scope of the lawsuit, attribution for certain aspects of the events surrounding the officer-involved shooting, and updates to include a statement from one of the officers named in the suit, indicating he was not on duty at the time of the incident.