By Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
UPLAND >> A man who was shot 10 times by police last year is suing the city, claiming the officer-involved shooting at close range was unjustified.
In a lawsuit filed in West Valley Superior Court against Upland’spolice department and three officers, Upland-based attorney Robert Schauer alleges the police officers used excessive force when they shot then 18-year-old Christian Rodriguez several times at close range, and that he did not pose a threat to law enforcement.
However, police said last year that Rodriguez was armed with a handgun when he was shot.
“There was no gun, no knife by their own admission,” said Schauer, based on police transcripts. “They made a terrible, terrible mistake.”
The complaint alleges negligence by police offers Craig Sipple, Nicolas Peelman and John Bonhus for failing to determine if Rodriguez had a weapon, and that the three officers had a “prior custom and practice to harass citizens and use excessive force.”
The lawsuit also calls into question the supervision and training practices in the department involving the use of force.
“I believe they need to review their shooting policy or either improve the training or change the policy. Do something so that this doesn’t happen again,” Schauer said.
Upland Police Chief Jeff Mendenhall declined to comment…
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