Family of Steven Motley files lawsuit against Redding Police

Mar 26, 2014 2:40 PM

The family of Steven Motley, the man who died following an incident with officers of the Redding Police Department last October, has filed a federal lawsuit claiming officers are to blame in the death.

The lawsuit claims Redding Police officers used excessive force that led to Motley’s death, including kicks and blunt force trauma.

According to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, who spearheaded the investigation, the incident began last October when Motley reportedly failed to pull over for a traffic stop initiated by a Redding Police Officer after the officer discovered the truck Motley was driving was reported stolen. The vehicle pursuit eventually ended with Motley crashing his truck into a brick wall on Alta Camino Drive. After the crash Motley then reportedly attempted to flee on foot and eventually doubled back to steal the officer’s patrol car, according to the Sheriff’s Office press release.

A responding officer eventually found the patrol car a short distance from the crash and saw Motley again fleeing on foot. This foot pursuit ended with the officer catching Motley who reportedly began resisting arrest. More officers arrived to help restrain Motley who continued to struggle until he quit resisting and stopped breathing, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Motley was transported to Mercy Medical Center and eventually airlifted to Mercy San Juan Hospital near Sacramento where he died three days later.

An autopsy was conducted by the Shasta County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office in November 2013. According to their report, the pathologist determined Motely died from a heart attack induced by methamphetamine while he was resisting arrest. The coroner’s report did indicate Motley did receive external injures possibly suffered during the incident, but the pathologist indicated none of those injuries contributed to his death. Before his death Motley was facing potential charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, felony evasion, theft and possession of a firearm, and resisting arrest.

In January, the family filed three claims against the city of Redding, but all three claims were denied because the city found they weren’t liable in the death of Motley.

As of this morning, the city attorney’s office had not received any lawsuit papers from the Motley family.


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