Earlier today the Elk Grove Police Department released several minutes of video of an incident involving Elk Grove Police officers and a suspect outside the Burlington Coat Factory. Elk Grove Police Chief Timothy Albright spoke before and after the videos.
Elk Grove police responded to a call on June 5, 2019, for service at the business for two people fighting with a loss prevention officer. Officers arrived on the scene and ordered two men to lie on the ground.
The videos released show footage from in car cameras and officer’s body cameras. The videos show one officer, identified as Officer Schmidt, approach one of the men on the ground. The man, later identified as Juan Mendoza, was face down on the ground with his hands at his side. Schmidt and another officer are heard ordering Mendoza to spread his arms out. Both officers had their guns drawn.
Schmidt orders the man to put his hands out twice and then as he repeats it a third time, Schmidt can be seen kicking Mendoza in the head. Schmidt then moves behind Mendoza and uses his foot to spread Mendoza’s arms out. At that point, Schmidt and another officer then handcuff Mendoza.
The Elk Grove Police Department became aware of the incident when an attorney for Mendoza filed a claim. The department then instituted an internal investigation. Schmidt was placed on leave and eventually removed from his job. He is appealing that decision.
A supervisor that was on duty that night reportedly resigned after the investigation. The department said the supervisor “failed to identify the use of force, failed to report the use of force, and failed to complete an internal review in accordance with policy,”