Things That Matter

A Military Veteran Called The Cops After Being Robbed And They Placed Him In An Involuntary Hold

Manuel Gutierrez is proud to have served five years in the U.S. Air Force. He never thought his service would make him vulnerable to assumptions of his sanity by responding police officers. Gutierrez filed a $1 million claim against the Covina Police Department Monday for just that reason. Gutierrez was driving home around 3 a.m. when another car began tailing him. As he pulled into the driveway, Gutierrez alleges that a trio of robbers held him at gunpoint and robbed him. Gutierrez called the police. When Gutierrez told responding Officer Vanessa Pineda that he was a veteran, she began to tell him that he hallucinated the robbery and put him on a 72-hour involuntary psychiatric hold, also known as a 5150.

“I was denied protection, humiliated, and stripped of my sense of security,” Gutierrez said during a press conference.

Credit: Jaime Gutierrez / Facebook

Gutierrez’s father woke up to his wife screaming, “Call 911!” The family woke up to the sound of Manuel screaming, and the screech of a car pulling out of the driveway. Gutierrez’s experience of being robbed at gunpoint is harrowing. He told ABC7 News, “That’s when he [the robber] told me ‘Give me everything you got.’ I told him ‘I don’t have anything. Get away from me, leave me alone.'”

Manuel Gutierrez said he was giving his account of the story, but that the tone shifted one he disclosed his status as a veteran. 

“Once I told her I was a veteran, she began self-diagnosing me with PTSD,” Gutierrez recalled. “I calmly told her I’ve never been diagnosed with PTSD.” Gutierrez served for five years in the Air Force but was never in a combat zone. Even though his family corroborated his story, and told officers that they saw a car pull away from their driveway, the young officer deemed his story unreliable. He was strapped onto a gurney and transported via ambulance to a psychiatric hospital.

“My rights were taken away from me. My voice was taken away from me,” Gutierrez told NBC News.

Gutierrez’s father ran to a neighbor’s house and retrieved footage of the robbery within an hour after his son’s hold.

Credit: _raquelgutierrez / Instagram

You can see two sets of headlights in the upper left-hand corner, which is just outside the Gutierrez home. He showed both police and hospital staff the video of the car following his son into their driveway and then speeding off, but it still took an additional 60 hours for his son to be released. That means that Manuel Gutierrez had to endure the traumatic experience of being robbed, being effectively gaslit by a responding police officer meant to protect him, and still had to spend nearly three days in a psychiatric facility against his will.

The Covina Police Department reports that Gutierrez was acting suspiciously, and was carrying a baseball bat.

Credit: _raquelgutierrez / Instagram

Gutierrez ran back into the house to grab a baseball bat, for fear the robbers would return. Manuel Gutierrez’s sister, Raquel, has been outspoken about the treatment of her brother and is demanding #JusticeforMannyG. In an Instagram post, she shared information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and learned that Officer Pineda is a new member of the Covina police force. She’s demanding an apology from Covina PD and Officer Pineda “for allowing an inexperienced rookie to take the freedom away from a Veteran.” 

According to code 5150, an officer can legally place someone on an involuntary hold “when a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is a danger to others, or to himself or herself, or gravely disabled, a peace officer [or] professional person in charge.” In an audio recording posted on his family’s social media, Gutierrez tells his sister that he met with a psychiatrist for 5 minutes, and has been on a psych hold for 48 hours already. 

The family is suing the Covina PD for compromising Manuel Gutierrez’s civil rights.

Credit: _raquelgutierrez / Instagram

Raquel wants the public to “please share his story. This could have happened to anyone, please be aware of your rights and be safe!! Feel free to share on all platforms. These criminals are still at large. We must hold Covina PD and Officer Pineda responsible. Please help my family seek justice. #JUSTICEFORMANNYG”

The Gutierrez family is concerned that the robbers are still at large and terrorizing the community. The Covina Police Department has 45 days to respond before the lawsuit is filed.

READ: This Deported Veteran Has Returned To The US And Is Now An American Citizen

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Mexican Army Wants To Pay Off Murder Victim’s Family With One Million Pesos In Cash

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Mexican Army Wants To Pay Off Murder Victim’s Family With One Million Pesos In Cash

The family of a man who was shot in the back and killed by a Mexican soldier is demanding better support from the Mexican military after officials offer them one million pesos, or about $49,000 USD.

Officials say that the Guatemalan man was in retreat from a military checkpoint near the southern border, when they admit that a soldier wrongfully shot at the man killing him.

Military officials are offering $1 million pesos to family of the Guatemalan man the army murdered.

The Mexican Army is offering 1 million pesos (about $49,000 USD) in compensation to the family of a Guatemalan man who was shot and killed by a Mexican soldier along a stretch of Mexico’s southern border.

The man, Elvin Mazariegos, 30, was killed by the army in the state of Chiapas by a soldier who opened fire on a car in which he was traveling with two other people.

According to Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval, the soldier shot at the vehicle as it tried to escape in reverse from a military checkpoint. He said the decision to shoot was an “erroneous reaction” because the military personnel hadn’t come under attack. The solider who shot Elvin Mazariegos was turned over to the federal Attorney General’s Office.

The family is asking for more support since Mazariegos was the family’s sole income earner.

Olga Mazariegos told the newspaper Reforma that the Mexican army had offered a single 1-million-peso payment to her brother’s family. But the family is also demanding monthly maintenance payments for Mazariego’s daughters, aged 9 and 5, and 2-year-old son, she said. She said their father was the sole income earner in his family.

“What we want is monthly maintenance, but they say that they’ll only give [a single payment of] approximately half a million quetzales,” Mazariegos said. At today’s exchange rate, 1 million pesos is in fact 377,300 quetzales.

The slain man’s sister said the army’s proposed payment will be insufficient for the man’s widow to maintain her family. “She’s left alone with her three children; what happened to my brother is not fair,” she said, adding that it was insulting for the army to say that his life was worth 1 million pesos.

Mazariegos murder comes as police brutality gains greater attention across Mexico.

Credit: PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images

Residents near the border (including Guatemalans) have demanded justice. About 300 angry residents detained 15 other soldiers also deployed near the border. Nine soldiers were released about three hours after they were detained, while the others were set free in the early hours of Tuesday morning after Mexican officials reached a deal with the civilians to provide them with “economic reparation” for the killing. The army chief didn’t reveal how much money was paid to the angry residents.

The killing of Mazariegos came just two days after the death of a Salvadoran woman who was violently pinned to the ground while she was being arrested by municipal police in Tulum, Quintana Roo.

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A 1-Year-Old Was Shot In The Head By Houston Police, Now He’s Fighting For His Life

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A 1-Year-Old Was Shot In The Head By Houston Police, Now He’s Fighting For His Life

Updated March 24, 2021.

The police of Houston are under fire again after it was revealed that a 1-year-old boy was shot in the head by an officer earlier this month. The tragic incident happened on March 3.

At the time Daisha Smalls was at a gas station filling up her car when she saw police cars and sirens.

According to Smalls, she was sitting inside of her car when a man approached her and told her to get out of her car.

At the time of the attempted hijacking, Smalls’ son Legend, was in the backseat.

“I wouldn’t give him my car because I let him know that I have a child in my car and that I would not leave my car without my son,” Smalls explained. The man then pushed his way into the car and attempted to hijack the vehicle.  

Police shot into Smalls’ car and killed the suspect who’d forced his way onto her lap. The police also injured her son Legend.

The 1-year-old was struck in the head with a bullet.

“I was just scared for my son’s life,” Smalls explained in a recent interview. Smalls went onto share that her son “didn’t deserve to be shot, especially not by the police.” According to reports, doctors removed part of Legend’s skull to make space for brain swelling. They were able to remove the bullet but small fragments from the bullet remain.

“He’s had multiple seizures, over 10 seizures, he’s still fighting for his life,” he explained.

Antonio Romanucci, co-counsel to Smalls’ lawyer said they are still investigating the incident but that the Houston police “can anticipate a lawsuit being filed shortly.”

Earlier this month, Houston Police Department Executive Assistant Chief Troy Finner claimed that Smalls was not in the car at the time of the hijacking. The hijacker was 30 and the suspect of two armed robberies. Police told him to drop his weapon and when he refused an officer fired several shots at him. The man died at the scene.

Finner claimed that the police officer was unaware that Legend was in the car. 

“Fearing for the mother’s safety, one of our officers discharged his duty weapon, fatally striking the suspect,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said in a statement shared to Twitter. “Sadly, baby Legend was also struck. Officers at the scene immediately rendered first aid to Legend… We are hoping and praying for the full and speedy recovery of little one-year-old Legend Smalls.”

Small’s attorney, Ben Crump explained that the clerk at the gas station told ABC13 that there is a surveillance video of the shooting.

“Why would they shoot knowing she was in the car? Not knowing who else was in the car. There could have been children, there could’ve been others in the car, but they shot,” Crump explained. “Regrettably and tragically, little Legend will live the rest of his life with the consequences of their decision to shoot into his mama’s car even though they knew she was in there.”

The attorney to Smalls, who has disputed police accounts that she was out of the car when the shooting began, has said that they expect to file a lawsuit in regards to the incident.

“Were the actions of the Houston Police Department both objective and reasonable under the circumstances?”Romanucci commented at a recent news conference according to The New York Times. “Clearly the answer is no.”

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