New misconduct lawsuits filed against Vallejo Police Department

Three new lawsuits were filed against the Vallejo Police Department Thursday in a move to try and establish a "pattern and practice" of unconstitutional policing, said civil rights attorney John Burris whose firm is handling the cases. Detailed in the lawsuits, Adrian Burrell, Delon Thurston and Deyana Jenkins allege false arrest, racial profiling and assault by Vallejo police officers this past year. 

Case one: Adrian Burrell, 28, from Vallejo filmed Vallejo Police Officer David McLaughlin detain him on January 22, 2019. McLaughlin was conducting a traffic stop on Burrell's cousin when video shows him suddenly divert his attention to Burrell who was recording the incident from his front porch. Burrell accuses McLaughlin of tackling him to the ground and causing a concussion.

Case two: Deyana Jenkins, 19, from was pulled over by Vallejo police in April 2019. She alleges the officers held her and her friends at gunpoint. She says when she was unable to locate her driver's license, they dragged her out of the car and threw her to the ground tasing her once in the back. Jenkins is the niece of Willie McCoy whose case was heavily covered when Vallejo officers shot and kill him in a Taco Bell drive-through in February. McCoy was unconscious and armed when officers found him in an idling car in the middle of the drive-through. 

Case three: Delon Thurston, 40, was driving home from work in October 2018 when she alleges Vallejo officers pulled her over and accused her of stealing a car. She says she was dragged out of her own vehicle, thrown to the ground and groped during a pat down by a female officer.

"These daily incidents by Vallejo police officers are part of a decades-long pattern of excessive force, racial profiling, false arrest and general disrespect of the black community," said Burris.

In a statement to KTVU 2 Investigates Thursday, Vallejo City Attorney Claudia Quintana said officials had not received the lawsuit yet. Quintana said her team cannot comment on pending litigation but will review any filings made.

"We are confident the fact-based litigation process will determine the truth in these cases," Quintana wrote.

These cases are the latest lawsuits filed against the Vallejo Police Department in recent weeks. Last Wednesday, Santiago Hutchins from Concord sued Vallejo Police Officer David McLaughlin after McLaughlin, off-duty at the time, pulled his gun out in the middle of a Walnut Creek shopping complex over a minor argument. The encounter happened in August 2018 and resulted in McLaughlin jumping in to help responding officers arrest Hutchins. Video shows McLaughlin throw repeated blows at Hutchins as other officers held him down.

McLaughlin was placed on leave after KTVU reported the incident in February. This week, 2 Investigates learned McLaughlin is back on patrol and was exonerated from excessive force in Hutchins' case by Vallejo Police Department's Internal Affairs unit. McLaughlin is still currently the subject of at least two other misconduct cases, including Burrell's. 

According to attorneys for all the plaintiffs, prosecutors never charged their clients in their individual cases.