Cop’s kick to suspect’s head could cost cash-strapped El Monte $5 million *

For a city that’s got no money and is laying off cops left and right, an officer’s kick to a prone suspect’s head may end up being pretty costly. *Here’s a copy of the claim:

And the story:

EL MONTE – The parolee who was kicked in the head by an El Monte officer in May is demanding $5 million from the city.

Lawyers for Richard Rodriguez, 24, filed a claim at El Monte City Hall on Thursday claiming Rodriguez suffers from headaches, blurred vision, back problems, inability to sleep and dizziness since his arrest on May 13.

“Mr. Rodriguez presents symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, such as flashbacks, frightening thoughts, depression, worrisome, easily startled, and on edge,” the 12-page claim states.
The claim comes nearly two months after news cameras caught a police pursuit of Rodriguez – which ended with Rodriguez being kicked in the head and pepper-sprayed.
The chase started after El Monte Police Officer George Fierro attempted to pull over Rodriguez. Rodriguez did not stop, and instead led police on a car and foot-chase.
The chase ended when Rodriguez became trapped behind a condo complex and then surrendered by laying face down on the grass.
Moments later, Fierro kicked Rodriguez in the head and pepper-sprayed him in the face.
Fierro has since been removed from patrol.
Police Chief Tom Armstrong said that video does not always relay the entire story.
“I believe firmly that a police officer is entitled to the same due process as a criminal,” Armstrong said. “We will let justice decide.” 

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El Monte cop owns clothing line catering to gang bangers

George Fierro, the El Monte cop identified by sources inside City Hall as the officer who kicked a prone suspect in the head, owns Torcido Clothing, a line of apparel catering to gang members that glorifies prison life.

Here’s an excerpt from Friday’s story:

The Torcido


This logo appears on a t-shirt sold on The number refers to the penal code section for gang crimes. The period in the shirt is a bullet.

Clothing company “features some of the hardestauthentic jail house threads for the streets. Straight from East L.A., Califas …” according to its Web site.’

Selling clothes about gang or prison life is “completely inconsistent” with behavior expected from officers, said Jay Wachtel, a Cal State Fullerton ethics instructor in the criminal justice program.

“I can’t possibly imagine a law enforcement officer selling clothes that glorify gang activity,” he said.

On Torcido’s Web site, shoppers can buy a T-shirt emblazoned with “186.22,” the section of the state’s criminal code that gives more prison time to people who commit a crime related to street gang activity.

Another shirt has “L.A. County Jail” on the front. Another has “Dept. of Corrections P-Bay Segregated Housing Unit,” which refers to the Pelican Bay State Prison unit where leaders of the Mexican Mafia are housed.

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