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Trial of Victor Vasquez v. San Andreas State Police

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Los Santos, SA – It was a dramatic turn of events this morning at Los Santos Municipal Court.   Within hours of the trial of Victor Vasquez v. San Andreas State Police, lead defense lawyer District Attorney Nick Stewart notified the court that a family emergency would prevent his attendance at the scheduled trial, which was to commence at Noon Pacific Time (3 PM EST).   Additionally, lawyers for the Plaintiff filed a motion for continuance as San Andreas State Troopers (SAST) had only just three hours prior to trial given the plaintiff had not released all documents they had been order to hand over in discovery.

Presiding Judge Miles Cross granted the motion for continuance citing the inadequate timeliness of the evidence requested.  In addition, Crost reversed his earlier decision to not subpoena Cadet David Williams, Trooper Lance Maximus, and Trooper Barry Hill, a major victory to Vasquez and his legal team.   Cross’s decision came with an admonishment to the State, threatening to find in default judgement against them if they continued to stonewall the release of discovery evidence.

Vasquez is alleging that, following his arrest on March 23 for robbery, Cadet Williams approached Vasquez’s holding cell and threatened to shoot Vasquez in his cell.  Presumably Vasquez was secure behind bars and according to court records, Vasquez had no weapons on him at the time of his arrest.   Williams continued with his threats while a superior, Trooper Hill, ordered him to stop and only relented after repeated instructions to put the gun down.

This isn’t the first time the SAST have Stonewalled the release of evidence pertinent to this case or other cases of police abuse.   Earlier filings indicated that an investigation was ordered by Commissioner Mac Moody as part of settlement negotiations.  While the District Attorney requested that today’s trial not be scheduled until the investigation’s conclusion this Friday, the State did not formally give any indication of a trial until Saturday evening, giving Vasquez’s legal team little time to prepare for the scheduled Monday Trial.   In an earlier case this year that was settled out of court, the State refused to release the 911 transcripts citing that no recording procedure exists, and further stonewalled the courts in releasing the name of an officer alleged to have run over a woman in Legion Square, and fled the scene without rendering aide to her.  The woman was able to call EMS who got her to Pillbox Hospital where she was treated for her injuries.

The tight-lipped nature of SAST has been widely discussed on Social Media and the unwillingness to assist in policing themselves have lead many citizens to question who is watching the watchers, while others merely want to know if the public is still who the police “protect and serve” as their cars famously claim.

The new trial will take place this Friday at Noon Pacific time (3:00 EST).   Lawyers for Vasquez were unavailable for comment at this time.

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