Excessive Use of Force Expert Testifies in Defendants Favor in Fresno Federal Trial

Fresno, CA January 30, 2013– U.S v. Christopher Coleman, Paul Van Dalen, Sean Plymale and Mike Manfredi

Chris Coleman finished up his testimony on Tuesday morning and was immediately followed by Use of Force and Police Practices Expert, Don Cameron. Cameron testified that Coleman’s use of the bean bag gun on the suspect was a very justifiable use of force. He noted that Coleman had much more important information to evaluate whether to use force was appropriate compared to other witness officers on the scene. He also noted that the suspect was wanted for a dangerous domestic violence felony, had run from police, had run from and fought the police dog, was unaffected by a tazer and had not been subdued by officer Plymale punching the suspect Celedon right in the face.

Cameron testified that witness officers Van Overbeek, Hardin and Burger assumed Celedon did not have a weapon and assumed Celedon was not going to run, despite the fact he ran from officer Plymale and from his K9 Tymo. Those wistness officers also assumed Celdon was going to eventually surrender.  Cameron testified that those assumptions are exactly the kind of poor officer safety practices that get officers killed. Expert Cameron said the numerous assumptions by witnessing officers were irresponsible and flat out wrong.

Lt Greg Coleman (Ret) finished up the day’s testimony by describing the conversation with his son Chris on October 11, 2005 and how in his 40 plus years with the Fresno Police Department, no officer was ever disciplined for how he or she wrote a draft report.   A draft report is just that, a draft, and can be changed to make it as accurate as possible.


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