Californian says Reno police violated civil rights

RENO — A Sacramento, Calif., man says he was trying to catch a bus when he was jumped by Reno police and Tasered for refusing to let them take his picture as police searched for witnesses to the shooting of an officer.

Gerald Marshall is seeking unspecified damages against the city, the police department and others in the civil trial under way in U.S. District Court.

Marshall on Wednesday testified his back was turned when officers jumped him on Aug. 21, 2005.

Reno police Lt. Bruce Kirby, at the scene that morning after an officer was shot, said officers wanted to question Marshall about the shooting but became suspicious because of his aggressive behavior.

“Not until I got the look in his eyes that said, ‘I’m taking you on,’ did I touch him,” Kirby testified. “The look in his eye told me that I’m about to get hit.” Kirby described Marshall as being “intoxicated, belligerent and hostile.”

Marshall told the jury he came to Reno with his wife to renew their wedding vows but needed to get back to Sacramento for a business meeting.

While on his way to the bus station in a cab, officer Al Del Vecchio was shot in the face while trying to make a traffic stop. Del Vecchio survived.

Kirby said officers secured the scene and rounded up people who might have witnessed the crime, including Marshall.

Marshall was arrested for obstructing and resisting but later released, his lawsuit said.

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