by Lee Houskeeper
John Burris, the prominent civil rights attorney who represented Rodney King, held a press conference on the San Joaquin County Superior Court House steps directly following San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar’s Sept. 17 announcement that the grand jury has indicted Michael Stiles and Omar Villapudua, two former Stockton Police Department officers, with felony counts of assault by a public officer (149 PC) and assault of Devin Carter, a then 17-year-old high school student, with force likely to cause great bodily injury (245(a)(4) PC) as well as great bodily injury enhancements.
“These vicious cops acted like a pack of wolves and Devin was their evening meal. I have not seen a police officer beating this outrageous since my former client Rodney King was beaten by LAPD officers back in March of 1991.
“District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar is to be commended for criminally prosecuting these Stockton police who brutally beat Devin Carter, a helpless teenager. This prosecution, regardless of the outcome, should send a clear message that in this county, there will be a severe price to pay for officers who use their badges to commit horrific crimes,” stated attorney John Burris.
Devin’s mother, Jessica Carter, added: “No mother should see or hear her son beaten by the police and helplessly crying from the pain. This has been a mother’s worse nightmare.”
On Dec. 30, 2020, Devin Carter, a 17-year-old high school student, was stopped for allegedly speeding. Once stopped, Stockton Police Officers Michael Stiles and Omar Villapuda, without any provocation or cause, pulled the young Black man from his car and viciously beat him.
These officers must have believed that they were somehow immune from department discipline.
A new video captures these two recently fired officers and two additional Stockton Police Officers repeatedly punching and kicking Devin about his face and back while calling him profane names and using threats of criminal prosecutions for crimes he had not committed.
The shocking video shows that Devin continually told the four officers that he was not resisting, but they kept hitting him and falsely claiming that he was resisting. The officers’ body-worn cameras clearly show that the terrified young man was not resisting but was shouting and screaming for his very life. Devin was afraid that the officers were going to beat him to death.
Back in April, Burris said, “The officers’ conduct was so atrocious that they should be criminally prosecuted.” Burris further states: “The most troubling aspect of this case is that these officers must have believed that they were somehow immune from department discipline and could get away with their conduct knowing that their body-worn cameras were on.”
George Carter, Devin’s dad, declared: “I am angry that my son, who has been taught to respect the law, was beaten by these bad cops, especially since he has law enforcement in his family and knows that this is not acceptable behavior from police officers.”
Contact Lee Houskeeper of San Francisco Stories at NewsService@aol.com.