Bay Area man sues Pittsburg PD over civil rights violation in 2022 mental health crisis incident

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Bay Area man sues Pittsburg PD over alleged civil rights violation
Attorney's for Ashton Porter filed a lawsuit this week claiming members of the Pittsburg Police Department violated his civil rights after he was shot during a mental health crisis incident two years ago.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Attorney's for Ashton Porter filed a lawsuit this week claiming members of the Pittsburg Police Department violated his civil rights.

That lawsuit stems from a incident in February of 2022 when Porter locked himself in a Hampton Inn Hotel room while experiencing a mental health crisis. Porter refused to leave the room and officers used gas and pepper spray to get him out. Once he left the room, officers shot him.

"They abandon the trust the community has placed in them," said Adante Pointer, Ashton's attorney. "They instead deployed escalation and deadly force and essentially terrorized a man and his family."

RESOURCES: Get help with mental health issues

Porter's family had just moved to Georgia, but they had issues with the move.

"I was going through a really tough time," Porter said. "Dealing with some things in Georgia that affected me tremendously"

His attorney shared police body camera video from that incident.

It first showed a county crisis response worker trying to help Porter. Porter still didn't come out. Police intervened to try to get him to surrender. The used a battering ram to break the door down. He still didn't leave and that is when police started using the gas and spray.

"I called out for help," Porter said. "I explained for them that I didn't really understand what was going on at the time, and I just wanted time to get some sleep, and try to clear my mind in whatever way I could."

MORE: Marin Co. man suing police after bodycam video shows him getting tased, arrested during seizure

A Bay Area couple filed a lawsuit in Marin County against authorities, alleging an officer assaulted a man having an epileptic seizure.

The Contra Costa District Attorney's office charged Porter with several counts of assaulting a police officer and one count of trespassing and refusing to leave. The DA's office says the court diverted him to mental health treatment.

"I have been going through therapy," Porter said. "This has been tough on me and my family."

We did reach out to the Pittsburg Police Department and we are waiting to hear back.

Porter's family thought they were going to lose him.

"I felt like it was our fault that we called the police and we shouldn't have," said Natalia Metts, Porter's daughter. "Who do we call on when the police is not doing the right thing?"

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