Hayward, CA — A 17-year-old boy, Jamaine Barnes was reportedly asleep in a car after a video shoot with his older cousin only to be awakened by police who would shoot him in the back moments later. According to a lawsuit filed this month, after shooting the boy, officers pulled the bullets out of his back by hand before dumping him off at the juvenile detention center.
As Mercury News reports, according to the lawsuit, the Stockton teen spent the evening with his older cousin, earlier driving to a music video shoot in Oakland. The teen then fell asleep and woke up in the car alone and in an unfamiliar parking lot, to the sounds of loud noises. He tried to call his cousin but his cell phone was dead, so he got in the driver’s seat and tried to leave, the suit said.
The family’s attorney, Adante Pointer said his client saw police had stopped another vehicle but did not hear any commands to stop, so he drove off. Next, he heard gunshots.
After the teen had been shot in the back and crashed his car, Pointer said he hid in the bushes out of fear.
According to the Hayward police, they were called to a CVS pharmacy in the area that night over reports of looting and possible gunfire. When they were detaining another car in the parking lot, that is when Jamaine decided that it would be a good idea to get out of there as he had not been involved in the looting or shooting.
However, Officer Samuel Tomlinson, who was standing outside his patrol car, claimed the teen drove directly toward him. Despite not being hit by the car, Tomlinson opened fire after it had passed him, shooting the teen in the back, according to the lawsuit. Officer Stephen Akacsos also fired his weapon believing “his partner had either been shot or struck by the vehicle,” according to police.
Tomlinson was never hit. The teen, however, suffered gunshot wounds to his back.
When the officers found the teen hiding in the bushes, they arrested him. According to the lawsuit, however, prior to dumping him off at the juvenile detention facility, cops pulled the bullets from the young man’s back with their hands.
“It’s barbaric,” Pointer said, “the way in which they tried to minimize the harm they caused this young man.” The officers “took the bullets out and hauled him off to Juvenile Hall. It’s completely inappropriate and fortunately it didn’t cause more severe damage to him.”
The teen was charged with assault on an officer. However, according to Pointer, the court lacked sufficient proof of assault so that charge was later dropped.
“Hayward police have consistently been on my radar, a police department where they sic dogs on people, beat people, shoot people and it rarely catches the public’s attention,” Pointer said. “This is Exhibit A of a police department which seeks to vilify the victim and justify the shooting. The public should be very concerned.”
The teenager’s mother, Jael Barnes, told Mercury News her son has not been in trouble with the law before and “was not involved in looting or anything as such.”
“I feel like all they saw was a black face and just believed he did (a crime),” she said. “Not only does he now have these physical wounds, he has these mental wounds, as well, which will never go away.”
At the time of the shooting in June, Barnes’ son was the third person shot by Hayward police in less than two weeks.
Barnes has set up a fundraiser to pay for hospital and therapy bills. If you’d like to donate, you can do so here.