Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

June 6, 2020

SANTA ROSA: Native leader hospitalized after being shot in face by police with sting ball grenade

Marqus, father of four Pomo children, was
shot in the face by Santa Rosa police.

Update: Class Action suit results in settlement

The Press Democrat reports:

The city of Santa Rosa will pay $1.9 million to five people injured in protests that followed the death of George Floyd, including a man whose face was shattered by a sting ball grenade.

The settlement is the largest in the city’s history involving a civil rights lawsuit and the Santa Rosa Police Department, City Attorney Sue Gallagher confirmed through a city spokeswoman Friday.

Marqus Martinez and Michaela Staggs filed the lawsuit last year, saying they were peacefully protesting and filming police when they were injured by so-called “less lethal” projectiles fired by officers. Three other plaintiffs later joined the suit.

Read article:

 Indigenous Tribal Leader Hospitalized due to Santa Rosa Police Department Violence

By North Bay Organizing Project
Censored News

SANTA ROSA, California -- On the evening of Sunday, May 31st, Marqus Miles "Red Bear" Martinez was hospitalized due to being shot at point-blank range with a sting-ball grenade by police in Santa Rosa, California.

Martinez was on the corner of College and Mendocino at the time of the incident. He was helping protect a group of youth that were being harassed with tear gas. Moments after the tear gas was shot, Martinez was shot in the face with a sting-ball grenade.

The impact knocked out four of his front teeth, lodging three of the teeth into the roof of his mouth and one in his tongue. His lip was split into three, his jaw was fractured and required reconstructive surgery at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California.
The Santa Rosa Police Department did not give aid after shooting directly at Martinez. It has been verified by Martinez and other protestors that the officer that shot Mr. Martinez was less than 10-15 feet away. Additional injuries have been reported in the community but not reported in the press.

“It seems to me like I was singled out, they saw me with my phone recording and then they shot directly at my face with a plastic-type of grenade. After that I ran, I didn't understand why they were meeting us with such force, we were only trying to talk with the police, we were being peaceful,” said Martinez.

On the night of the violent incident Martinez was a part of a peaceful protest in downtown Santa Rosa. The intent of that night for Martinez was to address the major worldwide issue of police violence, the killing of George Floyd, and to show his solidarity to this movement of police reform. Marqus is a human rights activist, he has been committed and has stood on the front lines of ending police brutality since his youth.

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