Home Courts Federal Use Of Force Complaints Filed Against San Ramon PD

Federal Use Of Force Complaints Filed Against San Ramon PD

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Federal complaints alleging excessive use of force – including an allegedly crippling attack by a police dog on an unresisting subject – have been lodged against the City of San Ramon and its police department.

Two complaints, one filed by a former gig worker who ran afoul of police after he fell behind on a lease payment for a vehicle he used for work, the other a demonstrator at a Black Lives Matter protest in Walnut Creek – are making their way through federal court and gaining press attention this week.

Both complaints allege excessive force by San Ramon PD officers in separate encounters in 2020, as well as unsettling use of a police canine during the traffic stop and arrest of Uber driver Ali Badr – whose arm was badly mauled by a police dog after he was pulled over for allegedly driving a stolen car.

Attorneys for Badr allege deprivations of his constitutional rights as well as lasting physical and psychological impairments stemming from their client’s arrest in San Ramon in December 2020. On that night Badr, 42, was pulled over because the rental car he was driving had been reported stolen by the rental car company Badr was leasing from when he fell behind on a payment.

The Oakland man said he exited the vehicle when asked by officers and was complying with commands to walk back to them when Officer John Cattolico “deployed the police K-9 to attack and bite” him which – according to body camera video released to news outlets – the dog did, latching onto Badr’s right arm and inflicting deep wounds.

Badr, who can reportedly be heard asking officers what he’d done as the dog continued to bite his arm for approximately 50 seconds before it was called off, suffered permanent injuries. His suit also names the leasing company which reported his vehicle as stolen.

A complaint stemming from a second, separate incident in 2020 also names San Ramon police officers as defendants. In it, plaintiff Joseph Mallot maintains he was singled out for assault by officers including Cattolico and officer Keith Testerman – who was also named in Ali Badr’s suit – as well as by a Martinez PD canine team during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Walnut Creek.

Mallot, who is black, alleges he was singled out by officers that day because of his race and subjected to multiple hits by rubber bullets, a blow from a police baton and attack by the Martinez K9.


  1. I’d need to see video, any one can sue any one for anything, I hope the cities don’t write them checks until a trial occurs. 108RS

    • Jeff you have been a proponent of police brutality in countless posts. It’s your outdated ideology that police should be judge, jury, and executioner that has gotten these officers in trouble and will undoubtedly cost tax payers millions. Maybe you should just sit this one out.

  2. Persons of color protesting for civil rights and human dignity counterposed to police clubs and dogs. Where have we seen that before in this country? Oh wait, I’m old. I’ve seen it. My generation has seen it. You, maybe not. What’s old is new again.

    • I’m all in favor of peaceful protest, but when it turns to blocking intersections, assaulting diners, obstructing elderly people, then turn the dogs loose and let the pepper spray fly. 108RS

  3. If people don’t want to come into contact with the police — quit committing crimes. The enablers are as pathetic as the criminals.

    If you don’t want the rental car company to report the vehicle stolen, don’t fall behind on the payments. Whose fault is that? The fact that he’s suing the leasing company when he fell behind on his payments shows his case has NO merit.

  4. CarMommy reported the car stolen. It was not. He was behind in payments but in legal possession of the car according to his lawsuit, trying to earn income with the car.
    Being financially strapped or behind in payments does not make one a criminal. Believing in the rule of law does not make me an enabler.

    • david,

      You do not have all of the info, it was not provided. Perhaps the car had gone through a legal repossession and had not been surrendered. 108RS

    • The car doesn’t have to go through legal repossession to report it stolen. If you’re renting through a rental car company, and you fall behind, they will report it stolen. I had a rental car reported “stolen” to SDPD on the day the car was due. I called the same day to extend the contract , and authorize re-charging my credit card for another week. I was told “you should’ve called the day before.” I was young, learned a valuable lesson and was glad (to this day) that I wasn’t pulled over at gun point.

  5. @David- as usual Reserve Jeff is over the top with his reasoning as to what should happen, old school policing should have ended long ago. Anyone in LE that’s still following that route is a fool and waiting for their time in civil or criminal court.
    The issue is time and time again the rental or lease company report it as stolen and it’s entered into the system as stolen. When an officer pulls over a reported stolen car they have no idea who is inside and what might happen. Officer runs the plate and it says stolen! It doesn’t say car was a lease that was not paid for by a guy just trying to make a living.
    In today’s world nobody wants to follow police directions they want to question everything and protest. When ordered out of a car at gun point it should be a clue to follow the directions. The time and place to ask questions or protest is either after things have calmed down or when in court.
    Neither you nor I was there to witness the incident but a guess would be that the guy was not cooperating and wanting to argue his point.
    In just about every one of these cases if people followed directions when given by police “as stated by the rule of law” there would be no problems.

    • “When an officer pulls over a reported stolen car they have no idea who is inside and what might happen.” That is my understanding also.

      You are perhaps conflating the 2 episodes of alleged police misconduct here that I commented on. The Uber driver who was bitten was not “protesting” in the sense of the article as far as I could tell.

      My other comment regarded beating peaceful protesters and the use of a police dog…different case, different dog.

      • @David- I shouldn’t have used the word protest. I was commenting on the car stop not the other incident. My point is I know from experience people no longer want to follow directions. An officer’s first responsibility is to control a scene and make it safe and yet so many want to immediately debate or argue rather then just go with directions, which is coincidentally what criminals do when contacted as well.
        If innocent individuals would just follow directions if they are truly innocent all should be good in the end.

    • Ripley,

      That’s the problem, old school law enforcement was much more effective. And particularly so with the backing of prosecution minded DA’s. Yes, I took a lot of bad people to jail. 108RS

      • @Jeff- First thank you for your service. Reserves are often only given credit by the agency they work with and not often recognized by the general public. Many agencies would not be able to function as well as they do without reserves.
        I agree old school policing worked but society has changed and the legal system has as well, and not necessarily for the better IMO. Was a time when the majority of people waved at police officers and not with one finger. If LE wants to get back to being favored by the majority it needs to make changes that fit with society’s current ideals.

  6. Really scary to think that a computer box checked by a 20 something car rental clerk could land me on the wrong side of a police stop and possibly subjected to a mauling (or worse??) by a police dog. I will also say that I have seen police exhibit incredible patience with people who were either being really dumb or deliberately trying to provoke them. No easy answers — but this is a good thread on the topic.

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