Newark Police Department California
Last updated: 12 months ago
A Newark police officer shot and killed a man described by authorities as an armed robbery suspect who pointed a gun at the officer, officials said Saturday.
The incident began when police responded just before 10 p.m. Friday to a report of a man with a handgun forcing an employee at a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant on the 5700 block of Thornton Avenue to open the cash register, according to a statement released by the Newark Police Department. When police arrived on the scene, they saw a “female employee inside the store with her hands in the air,” the statement said
“The suspect turned towards the officer and pointed a black semi-automatic handgun at the officer,” police said in the statement. “The officer fired one round striking the robber. The suspect ran southbound on St. Edwards Street, dropping property stolen in the robbery and the gun. After a short distance the suspect collapsed” and was pronounced dead after first responders attempted to provide aid.
The family is suing:
The Newark Police Department carries an AR-15 to every traffic stop. Operating with this mindset, an officer hid behind a metal door and waited for Teo Valencia to exit, then shot him in the back after he had left the building. Surveillance video confirms that Newark PD has lied about what happened.
That officer acted as judge, jury and executioner without ever seeing Teo’s face - His reflexive incompetence and cowardice took away a beloved brother to five siblings, doting son to two proud parents and friend to many.
Today the Valencia family and their lawyers at Siegel & Yee seek answers and justice with the following demands:
1. Tell the truth: Retraction and public apology from the Newark Police Department; as well as naming the officer.
2. Accountability for murder: The officer who hunted Teo down must face the consequences of his actions through being terminated, as well as criminal prosecution.
3. De-militarize the Newark Police Department: This includes the removal of AR-15 assault rifles and similar combat weapons; as well as basic de-escalation training and an emphasis on minimizing use of force.
“This is one of the most egregious cases I have ever seen,” said Dan Siegel of Siegel & Yee and the Anti Police-Terror Project. “The only word for what the police officer did to Teodoro is murder.”
Teo served his community generously, most visibly as a barber who painstakingly worked on each haircut and provided guidance and a sounding board for people of all ages who came to his chair. He would even cut people's hair for free.
One neighbor said that when her 7 year-old found out about Teo’s death, he had to be brought home from school because he was so distraught. This man was part of the fabric of the neighborhood and his loss has been devastating.
“The war on Black and Brown bodies in this country must come to an end,” said Cat Brooks of the Anti Police-Terror Project. “We will not rest until there is justice for this family - and all families that fall victim to unwarranted, brutal state-sanctioned terror.”
August 2016 Family to hold press conference Monday August 22 to announce a lawsuit will be filed.
August 2016 Lawsuit filed
Community and Family Efforts