Family of alleged robber shot dead by Newark cop sues

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Here is KTVU crime reporter Henry Lee's Rap Sheet blog for Aug. 22, 2016:

FAMILY SUES OVER FATAL SHOOTING BY NEWARK POLICE: The parents of a robbery suspect shot and killed by Newark police filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city today.

Newark police say Teodoro Valencia Jr., 23, was armed with a handgun when he robbed the KFC restaurant at 5724 Thornton Ave. about 10 p.m. March 11.

Police arrived and saw a female employee inside the KFC with her hands on the air. Valencia left the restaurant through the kitchen, and an officer "yelled at robber to stop" before shooting him once after the suspect pointed the handgun at the officer, authorities have said.

Valencia Jr., who worked as a barber, collapsed in front of a nearby home and died.

In a lawsuit filed today in U.S. District Court in Oakland, Valencia's parents, Maria Magdalena Rodriguez and Teodora Valencia say their son didn't pose a threat, and that Officer Conrad Rodgers, hidden from view behind a Dumpster, opened fire with an AR-15 rifle and shot Valencia in the back without warning.

"As Teodoro Valencia Jr. moved across the parking lot, defendant Conrad Rodgers emerged from his hiding place and fired one shot into Teodoro Valencia Jr.'s back," the lawsuit says.

In an interview, the family's attorney Dan Siegel said, "To me, it's outrageous that an officer would hide and then jump out and shoot someone in the back without giving that person any notice that an officer was there, or demand that he surrender."

Siegel said he disputes assertions by Newark police that Valencia Jr. had pointed a gun at the officer, citing surveillance video his office obtained.

The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, names the city of Newark and Rodgers as defendants. They have not responded to the suit in court.

PETALUMA ATM ROBBER SOUGHT: Petaluma police are asking for the public's help in identifying an ATM robber.

The incident happened as the victim was withdrawing money from a Wells Fargo ATM at the Washington Square Shopping Center on South McDowell Blvd. about 5:30 a.m. Aug. 11 

Two men with their faces partly concealed approached him from behind. One of them held a gun to the right side of the victim's head and demanded his money. The two fled on foot.

FACEBOOK BUS HOLDUP: We leave you with the case of a man accused of snatching an iPad from a Facebook bus driver's hands.

Richard Joseph Espinoza, 40, got onto a bus for Facebook employees in Menlo Park on June 28 while armed with what appeared to be a gun, authorities said.

Espinoza got off the bus and into a car, police said. Officers spotted the car and then chased him across the Dumbarton Bridge. During the pursuit, he drove recklessly and threw items out of the car, prosecutors said.

He then rear-ended another car and was detained by Union City police. Authorities said Espinoza appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance. He refused to give a urine sample and claimed "he was being chased by Russians." No gun was found in the car, police said.

Espinoza has pleaded not guilty to robbery, felony evading, hit-and-run and DUI with a prior.

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