Home Courts Felony Assault Charge Filed Against Former Richmond Police Officer

Felony Assault Charge Filed Against Former Richmond Police Officer

Photo: File

From the Office of the District Attorney:

Martinez, Calif. – The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office filed a felony assault charge with two enhancements against a former Richmond Police Department Officer.

Eric Smith, Jr., 28, faces one count of felony assault with a deadly weapon for an incident that occurred while Officer Smith was on duty. Eric Smith Jr. is further charged with enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury and for the use of a deadly and dangerous weapon.

The incident happened around 1:00 am in Richmond on April 9, 2022, during an attempted traffic stop of Saul Mendoza Jr. At one point during the encounter, Officer Smith struck Mr. Mendoza multiple times with a taser, causing great bodily injury to the victim.

The Richmond Police Department presented the case to the District Attorney’s Office for review and a filing determination.

On August 3rd, 2022, Richmond Police announced that Eric Smith Jr. was terminated from the agency.

The Defendant’s arraignment will be scheduled by the Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa.


  1. What did Mendoza do to provoke the officer, if anything?

    I generally side with the police in such matters. Both sides of the story need to be looked at closely.

    I apologize in advance if I missed details previously reported.

  2. Yes, probably much more to this story. But, Becton does want to send cops to jail, it’s social justice.


      • TT,

        ANDREW HALL. It was a marginal shooting, I’ve watched the video, but a legal shooting, yet this deputy sheriff is in prison.


        • And yet Hall was convicted by a jury of his peers based upon credible evidence. So, once again, you are mistaken. You clearly want a separate system of rules for yourself and Mr. Hall as in Animal Farm: “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”.

          • Jury’s tend to believe the prosecution and Becton put everything into this one. Pure BS, it was a split second decision, one I’ve made many times

  3. It seems like the district attorney goes after law enforcement with a lot more zeal than the next hundred criminals put together.
    Yes law enforcement needs to be held to a high standard, something they fulfill 99.9% of the time.
    AND criminals need to be held accountable all the time too but the trend now is to let them off scott free. We’re suffering from the effects of that now and it’s only going to get worse.
    Thank you men and women in blue, you still keep us safe despite all of this and you are not giving the credit you deserve nor the thanks. Shame!

  4. I’m glad this guy was terminated and hope he is convicted by a jury or saves everyone money and pleads guilty.

  5. He was fired for cause! Why the remonstrations? The tears? In what universe is firing and prosecuting for incompetence like this mourned? Especially incompetence and assault under color of authority? Pathetic. Cult-like!

      • The police superiors who fired him for cause surely know what happened. As for criminal charges, he has a right to a jury trial just like you or me. As for the cost to taxpayers for bad policing…well, that is all too familiar, and we expect that we haven’t seen the end of this man’s courtroom problems or the financial hit on us.

      • Jeff- It’s interesting to me that you don’t know what happened during the incident, but you made the blanket statement that Becton wants to send cops to jail for social justice reasons. The Andrew Hall case you cited is but one incident where it did happen, but there are probably plenty of other instances of “misapplied” justice by the PD that go unnoticed. I am not a fan of Becton and was disappointed she was reelected. I just think your blanket statement about her seemed like a lazy reach

      • Well, as you know, it doesn’t matter what the perp may or may not have done earlier to piss the officer off. The assessment of the threat and the required response is a continuum, and the officer is supposed to be a professional. Excessive use of force and “assault” are by their very definitions beyond the pale.

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