Vallejo agrees to pay $2.8 million in wrongful death suit of Angel Ramos
VALLEJO, Calif. - The city of Vallejo will pay $2.8 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of an unarmed man killed by police.
Angel Ramos was fatally shot by a Vallejo police officer in 2017 who wrongly claimed that Ramos was armed with a knife.
"The City of Vallejo lied about Angel Ramos being armed when he was shot, in order to deter public outcry," Melissa Nold, an attorney for the family, tweeted. "Angel’s family was determined to get the truth revealed, that Angel was UNARMED when he was shot & killed by Vallejo PD badge bender Zach Jacobsen. Justice for Angel!"
To this day, Nold said Vallejo has not acknowledged that Ramos had no knife in his hands.
Police killed the 21-year-old in January 2017 during a family fight.
Ramos' family felt scared and gaslighted by police after Ramos was killed.
"After Angel was killed, officers would drive by my mom’s house and try to intimidate us into silence, but we would not stop fighting for the truth to come out," Ramos' sister, Alicia Saddler, said in a statement. "The city's employees lied to people in the community and tried to convince them we were crazy, because we would not be silenced, but we knew the truth would come out."
According to the Vallejo Sun, Officer Zachary Jacobsen reported that he heard yelling and screaming from the home and saw several people on a second-story balcony fighting.
Jacobsen claimed that he saw Ramos holding a large knife at shoulder level before running from inside the house and making stabbing motions.
Jacobsen said he shot and killed Ramos because he feared that another man at the scene would be harmed.
But Ramos’ family contradicted that version of events, the Sun reported, saying Ramos came out of the house and punched the man.
No knife was found near Ramos.
Jacobsen was cleared of any wrongdoing by a Vallejo Police Department review board more than a year after the shooting, the Vallejo Sun reported.
The Solano County District Attorney’s Office also cleared Jacobsen in 2018.
The Vallejo Sun reported that Jacobsen has since been named as an officer who bent the tip of his star-shaped badge, a symbol some officers proudly made to commemorate a fatal shooting.
Ramos' mother, Annice Evans, said that her family will continue to seek Jacobsen's termination, saying "this blood money will not make us go away."
"There will never be a dollar amount high enough to measure the value of Angel’s life and what our family lost," Ramos' other sister, Antoinette Saddler, said in a statement. "We have experienced pain, terror and anxiety that no words can ever explain, and no family should ever have to experience."
From 2015 to 2020, Vallejo police paid the highest amount per officer – $60,185 – to close wrongful death and excessive force cases, a KTVU analysis found. The total amount the city paid out during that same time period was $6.5 million, the fourth highest in the Bay Area.