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By Theresa Clift
The Sacramento Bee
(The Sacramento Bee) Sacramento County has paid a $45,000 settlement to a man who alleged he was kicked by deputies after declining to show them his driver’s license. online news
Nathan Schneider was working as a Lyft driver in July 2019 at around 9:30 p.m., driving a couple back and forth from an Orangevale storage unit facility, alleged a federal lawsuit Schneider filed in April 2020. After one of the drop offs, Schneider encountered an issue getting through the gate to exit and was trapped inside.
He called the Sacramento Sheriff’s Office for help, the lawsuit alleged. Shortly after, Sheriff’s deputies Johsua Hartin and John Seubert arrived, and asked Schneider for his license. Schneider did not provide it and the deputies told him to exit the car.
“Ultimately (Schneider) complied and exited his car, but warned the deputy that he just had knee surgery and was still recovering,” the lawsuit stated. “Out of spite, the deputy kicked (Schneider’s) knee, tearing his ACL, which required surgery again. To cover his unlawful actions, the deputy falsely arrested (Schneider).”
Schneider was arrested for obstruction and or/resistance, the lawsuit alleged. There are no criminal records in Sacramento County Superior Court for Schneider, indicating charges were not filed.
The county declined comment on the settlement, spokeswoman Kim Nava said.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Amar Gandhi declined to say whether the two men are still deputies. Both men were still Sheriff’s deputies in 2022, according to Transparent California, a website that tracks the salaries of public employees.
Schneider’s lawsuit claimed Fourth Amendment violations of excessive force, negligence, false imprisonment, as well as a state penal code violation of battery. As defendants it named the county, Hartin and Seubert, all of whom were represented by the same attorneys from outside firm Porter Scott.
The incident is not listed on the Sheriff’s Office web page as an incident in which deputies caused a citizen “great bodily injury.” According to a state law, law enforcement agencies must all records regarding incidents in which law enforcement officers cause “great bodily injury.” Injuries that require surgery, like Schneider’s, should be considered “great bodily injury,” according to case law, First Amendment Coalition attorney David Loy has said.
The Sheriff’s Office and Sacramento Police Department have failed to release internal affairs disciplinary records for roughly 100 incidents that involved an officer-involved shooting or great bodily injury since 2019, a Sacramento Bee investigation found.
The Bee learned of the $45,000 settlement, which the county signed in March, from a California Public Records Act request for county settlement agreements.
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