San Jose police officer who sent racist texts asks to move case 300 miles away

A former San Jose police officer who quit the day the chief released a set of racist texts he sent to two friends is asking a judge to move his case 300 miles away because he thinks he won't get a fair trial in Santa Clara County.

In court filings, the attorney for Mark McNamara cited 12 print and TV news stories about his situation, including several published by KTVU.

Last month, McNamara's attorney, Susan Coleman, asked U.S. District Court Nathaneal M. Cousins to move his upcoming civil trial to the Eureka-McKinleyville area, just south of the Oregon border. 

In an opposing motion, attorneys for K'aun Green, a Black college football player whom McNamara shot and injured on the steps of a taqueria two years ago, said there is no need to move the trial. The stories have not been voluminous and all have been factually accurate. 

"There's no way this should be granted," Green's attorney, Adante Pointer, said on Tuesday. 

Pointer's colleague, Angel Alexander, pointed out how ironic the city of San Jose's argument is.

"The irony is that the police chief released this in a press conference to the press, and then, in turn, the city is now blaming the press for the coverage of this story, which the police broke themselves," she said. "So it's pretty outrageous."

Cousins was originally supposed to rule on this change of venue request later this month. However, McNamara's legal team is now appealing Cousins' ruling to permit Green to present his case to the jury to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

"Defendants often use appeals as a way to delay and discourage plaintiffs," Pointer said. "We are committed to fighting for justice for Mr. Green."

No decision on the change of venue will be made until the Ninth Circuit renders a ruling. 

Former SJPD officer Mark McNamara during the La Victoria Taqueria shooting in 2022. 

Green is suing McNamara alleging excessive force, inspired by racism, and the shooting should now be considered a hate crime.

McNamara was one of the San Jose police officers who responded to La Victoria Taqueria on March 27, 2022, after someone called 911 to say there was a brawl inside and one of the customers had a gun. The call came about 30 minutes after a homicide was reported a few blocks away.

Police originally thought the two scenes might be related. But in the end, they were not.

Meanwhile, Green had been inside the taqueria at the time and ended up wrestling the gun away from an armed drunk customer.

Green was exiting the restaurant with the confiscated weapon in his hand when McNamara ordered him to drop it and then shot him four times almost simultaneously.

McNamara was the only officer to fire a weapon. Green was injured and survived.

In November 2023, the former police chief, Anthony Mata, released a slew of texts that McNamara sent, which were uncovered during a still-unknown criminal investigation.

 KTVU has learned McNamara sent those texts to Brandon LeTemplier, who is on leave from SJPD, and William "Billy" Haggerty, who worked for SJPD from 2017 to 2020. 

In a text message dated the day after the shooting, McNamara appears to refer to Green, when he wrote: "N—- wanted to carry a gun in the Wild West … Not on my watch."

In another text, McNamara was pretty clear about how he feels, texting simply: "I hate black (sic) people." 

McNamara also wrote that Green should thank him for shooting him and that he doesn't care at all about what happened.

"I finally had to tell this city attorney what’s what," McNamara texted. "I’m like dude, I don’t give a shit about this case. I’m white, he’s black, he’s gonna win. AND I DONT CARE. It’s a b—- whatever they decide has no bearing on me what so ever. It’s basically kangaroo court."

 Lisa Fernandez is a reporter for KTVU. Email Lisa at or call her at 510-874-0139. Or follow her on Twitter @ljfernandez