Death in Custody: Carjacking Suspect was Actually the Victim. Sonoma County Sheriff

#custodydeath #SonomaCountySheriffsOffice #DavidWard

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The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office released body camera and details about a critical incident video about the in-custody death in Bloomfield on November 27, 2019.

First report as November 27, 2019:
At approximately 5:41 a.m., this morning, deputies were near Frei Road at Guerneville Road looking for a car that was stolen during a carjacking. A deputy and two Sebastopol police officers found the car and tried to pull the driver over on Bloomfield Road near Murray Road. The driver initially pulled over, then sped away from the peace officers and started a pursuit. The peace officers pursued the car, which traveled through west county. They tried to stop the car with a PIT maneuver (pursuit intervention technique), but it was unsuccessful. A PIT maneuver is when a peace officer uses a patrol car to abruptly turn a fleeing car sideways, causing the driver to lose control and stop. The pursuit ended on Sutton Street, which is a dead-end road in Bloomfield, when deputies used their patrol cars to box in the car.

The driver, a man, fought deputies as they tried to arrest him for driving a stolen car and evading peace officers. The deputies used a Taser but he kept fighting. They then attempted to use a carotid restraint hold to try to stop him from fighting. A carotid restraint hold is a way of controlling a combative person by placing pressure on the carotid artery, which causes the person to lose consciousness.

After deputies placed the man in handcuffs, he had a medical emergency. Deputies began life-saving measures and requested medical personnel. The man was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Update as December 20, 2019:
What the deputies didn’t know at the time is that the driver later identified as David Ward, 52 was actually the owner of the vehicle that was reported carjacked three days earlier. The owner retrieved his vehicle but he omitted to informe the police. It is not clear why the owner, Ward of the vehicle fled the deputies.

“If you watched the body-worn camera video closely, you may be concerned about what you saw. So was I,” Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick said at the end of the video footage. “The way Deputy Blount handles the entire situation is extremely troubling. As a result, I’ve served Deputy Blount a notice of termination.”

The Sheriff’s Office invoked the County’s critical incident protocol. Santa Rosa Police Department is investigating the incident and Marin County Coroner’s Office is conducting the death investigation.
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22 thoughts on “Death in Custody: Carjacking Suspect was Actually the Victim. Sonoma County Sheriff

  1. Thank you law enforcement for keeping us safe in an increasingly dangerous environment. Wow, this story had some twist, victim of a carjacking in his own car, medical emergency not getting shot, yet common denominator – running from police, not following commands.

  2. I back the blue, but not the corrupt, the racial profilers or the excessive force officers. I'm confused why if he was a victim did he run from L.E. & then not get out of the car & bit the officer? Why didn't he say anything before they started attacking him? Did I miss something? I'm absolutely not defending the excessive force.

  3. Where’s all the George Floyd activists?!? Where’s the riots in the streets? Why haven’t these officers been trialed and convicted of Murder?!?! The country is racist. Another shameful killing up an unarmed innocent white man!!!

  4. Blount got p*ssed at being bitten and choked him so hard for it, an autopsy would probably show a crushed larynx, and suffocation as cause of death. Plus a cerebral haemorage from the head-crack to the body of the car, maybe!
    Too much for too long!

  5. Honestly… being around the same age as the "Victim" I'd say that Ward brought it down on himself. Anyone with ANY amount of brain in the skull (fear of or no) should stop and cooperate with the law that we as a society have voted and implemented.
    Mr. Ward was an IDIOT. I am by no means a "Bootlicker" and I agree that there are some laws which I think are stupid and moronic but I will abide by them anyways until we as a society see fit to change them.
    IF there is wrongdoing by any officer one should NOT attempt to rectify it at the incident by one's own actions but rectification should be done in an aftermath when ALL FACTS are available and able to be perceived outside of the "Heat of the moment"
    If Ward had pulled over the moment he saw red/blue in his rear-view and conversed with the officer then NONE of this would have happened. You want to say that I am "Victim-blaming" well in situations like this it's quite obvious that the victim IS to blame especially when escalation was caused by the "Victim"
    I have ZERO sympathy for this idiot. Did he get what he deserved?? No. Did he bring it down on himself by his personal choice?? (imo) YES.

  6. They killed him! That slam with his head on the door was enough to kill him with his injurys, very sad. He ran and was confused because he was pistol whipped in the head, he bit them because they were breaking his legs. Sad.

  7. Maybe the man had the beginnings of Alzheimer's or dementia which would explain why he didn't or forgot to report his car found. He looks extremely confused as the police ask him to open the door and put his hand on his head. Some ppl are special needs, have phobias, mental illness, and other diseases and issues that can cause difficulty when dealing with the police. Some people are addicts. This is nothing new and the the police force is not trained to deal with the community they are supposed to protect. To slam a man's head like this and choke him while being tazed because you can't get him out of the car is………….so evil. Then, to pretend like you didn't kill him "check his breathing…" I almost vomited in digust.

  8. Well if this isn't a very bizarre case 😳… And hey you got to admit that if you were the popo chasing you could only assume that it was in fact the car jacket right??🤔… Dam what a weird case of not reporting you got your car back but also run from the popo when they think he is they jacker. But also the tazing and choke hold on the dude @8:00 was harsh in my opinion…. But hey!!,,, just my opinion…..

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