Originally Posted to Courthouse News
BY PHILIP A. JANQUART
A federal judge refused to dismiss all claims that police and a deputy district attorney conspired to kill a man in a sting operation, and routinely use a “tool” to cover up police misconduct.
Charles Burns died on May 10, 2013 in a hail of gunfire after surrendering to law enforcement officers, his parents John and Tammy Burns said in a February 2014 lawsuit against 22 officials and officers, the cities of Concord and Antioch and Contra Costa County.
The 59-page lawsuit paints a chaotic and bloody scene in which Burns was the passenger in a car driven by co-plaintiff Bobby Lawrence. As the two returned from Wal-Mart, where Burns had bought a Mother’s Day card, several unmarked police cars rammed to a stop.
Lawrence said he was hauled out of the car, assaulted and illegally detained for a prolonged period of time.
Burns got out of the car and “jogged approximately 20 feet” before stopping and surrendering to police, three of them lining up “in firing squad fashion” and “unload[ing] their weapons,” even after Burns’ body lay lifeless on the ground “in a pool of his own blood,” according to the 30-page complaint.
His parents say a Concord Police Department dog was then released to attack their motionless son. The dog’s handler retrieved the dog and then stood over him, firing two more rounds into his body. Continue reading