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Fontana Police Face Excessive Force Lawsuit

fontana.org

The Fontana Police Department is facing a lawsuit claiming that the same officer that shot and killed an unarmed man in February used excessive force during an arrest four months earlier.

The claimant, 36 year-old Juan Gonzalez, was arrested in October 2020 after the Fontana PD responded to a call about a domestic dispute and physical assault involving Gonzalez and his wife at a restaurant.

Gonzalez said at a Tuesday press conference that he did not resist arrest. His attorney added that body cam footage proves this. Instead they said it shows an officer attacking and breaking Gonzalez’s hip.

In a statement on the lawsuit, the Fontana P.D. allege Gonzalez was confrontational and that as he drove away from the restaurant, he nearly hit an officer. After a vehicle pursuit, they claim Gonzalez resisted arrest so they used a sweep technique to subdue him. This resulted in an injury that was given immediate medical attention.

Officer Johnny Tuitavake, who arrested Gonzalez, is the officer who shot and killed 29 year-old Daverion Kinard in February. The department reached a $1 million settlement with Kinard’s family, but an investigation of the shooting is ongoing.