Stockton, CA — Shayne Sutherland was a father of two, a peewee football coach, and worked at the local union. He also had mental health issues and struggled with substance abuse. On October 8, 2020, Sutherland would die in need of help for his mental health issues after receiving police force instead. Now, Sutherland’s family has learned that the officers who killed him, will not be held accountable.
On Thursday, Karen Sutherland, Shayne’s mother was told by the San Joaquin County District Attorney that the officers who killed Shayne will not be held accountable. Karen put the information out on theJustice For Shayne Sutherland Instagram page:
I received news today that the San Joaquin County District Attorney, Ron Freitas has decided NOT to prosecute the Stockton Police officers that killed Shayne. This is a slap in our faces as we know the truth.
This is more proof that the District Attorney should not have their hands in anything police involved as it’s a CONFLICT OF INTEREST. They all hang out, do events together and Ron Freitas is a former prosecutor and obviously has that cop mentality. He is corrupt as he has proven by not charging Ron Zalunardo and John Afanasiev for suffocating my unarmed, proned, and handcuffed son to death as he begged for his life and called out for me.
We are not done so don’t worry. Next stop is the Attorney general. We will be asking him to open Shayne’s case and investigate and hopefully he will do what Ron Freitas and his crew have FAILED to do. Please keep my family in your prayers as this is really hard to take knowing those responsible for the death of our loved one are walking free and free to do this to others.
As we reported at the the time in 2020, what started as a disturbance inside a convenience store, quickly morphed into an in-custody death. That night, Sutherland was in the midst of a mental health crisis. He had harmed no one, but according to the store employee, he was waving around a bottle of wine, saying he was going to throw it. He never threw it.
Illustrating the severity of Sutherland’s crisis, he was the one who initially called 911. When he called police, he asked them to send a taxi to the store, claiming someone had robbed him.
When police showed up, Sutherland was entirely compliant, doing everything police asked and cooperating with them to the fullest extent. He even admitted to having a drug problem and that he “used cocaine” earlier that day.
The officers offered no help and instead belittled and made fun of him for several minutes. As they were verbally berating him, for some reason, Sutherland stood up and then immediately realized that was a mistake, saying “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
Thinking he was a threat, police threw the father of two to the ground and handcuffed him as Sutherland began to panic. For several minutes, Sutherland begged for his life, saying “Please let me breathe” and telling police they were killing him.
Read More: Cops Not Charged After Handcuffing Dad Who Needed Help and Suffocating Him to Death