Remember Brandon Lopez? He was a criminal who led the Anaheim police on a wild car chase while he was driving a stolen car through four cities. The pursuit ended in Santa Ana when the car got stuck on the light rail tracks being constructed for the OC Streetcar. After a standoff with police that ran for many hours he finally jumped out of the car with something in his hand and the police officers shot and killed him. You can see the Anaheim Police video about this event here.
Now lawyers hired by the family of Lopez have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the cities of Anaheim and Santa Ana, with claims of excessive force and negligence.
No Santa Ana officers were involved in the shooting, but attorneys representing the family say the city is liable because SAPD officers gave control of the standoff to Anaheim police despite having jurisdiction.
So who are the lawyers representing the Lopez family? One of them is Vicky Sarmiento. Vicki Sarmiento is the sister of Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento. According to Mayor Sarmiento’s financial disclosure form, the Law Offices of Vicki Sarmiento pays him an annual salary of between $10,000 and $100,000.
The other attorney representing the Lopez family is Dale Galipo, who happens to be married to Vicky Sarmiento. Galipo has also donated $10K to the Sarmiento campaign for OC Supervisor according to the OC Independent.
What all of this means is that Mayor Sarmiento should recuse himself henceforth from voting on ANY matters involving the SAPD.
Voters should take all of this into account in November when Sarmiento will be running for OC Supervisor. Do you really want to vote for a candidate whose family is suing the SAPD on behalf of a criminal with a very long record?
Lopez by the way is the cousin of Mayor Sarmiento’s ally on the Santa Ana CIty Council, Johnathan Ryan Hernandez. Both Mayor Sarmiento and Hernandez have accused the police officers who shot Lopez of being murderers, completely disregarding the fact that Lopez endangered the public and brought about his own death by not obeying police commands.
The only one responsible for Lopez’ death is Lopez himself. His family should also be held accountable for raising a criminal who had zero regard for the public’s wellbeing.