Tracy, CA Officers Nestor Mejia and Trevin Freitas allegedly used excessive force on divorced father
Case: ALLGOEWER v. CITY OF TRACY, 207 Cal.App.4th 755 (2012)
What happened: There was a child custody dispute and the Tracy officers beat up and arrested plaintiff, the father in the custody dispute, for not putting down a gardening rake as quickly as they wanted him to when they went to talk to him while he was gardening in his yard. There was a trial, but the trial judge declared a “non-suit” when it became clear that plaintiff was not going to put on a police expert to testify that the policemen used excessive force in beating up and arresting plaintiff.
Decision: The appellate court decided that expert testimony was not required in this case and sent the case back for a new trial.
Comment: Interesting case from a legal perspective. Is what policemen do really so esoteric that laypeople need n expert to explain it? Probably goes to the issue of how much intelligence one believes to be required for police work — and this is n issue that people seem upon which to sharply differ at times.