On January 25, 2014 Lodi police shot and killed 45 year old Iraq War veteran Parminder Shergill. Shergill suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as schizophrenia as a result of his military service. According to family members he had another ‘episode’ and left the home. As they had done on other occasions, the family asked law enforcement to pick him up and take him to a mental health facility.
Officers located Mr. Shergill in a nearby parking lot. They allegedly followed him, weapons drawn. Officers claim they shot Shergill after he pulled a knife and threatened them. Several witnesses dispute the officers’ claims that Shergill threatened him.
In a lawsuit in federal court the City of Lodi and the Lodi Police Department sought to prevent the dissemination of internal records pertaining to the investigation. The lawyer for Shergill’s family, local civil rights attorney Mark Merin, argued there was no basis for such a ‘gag order’ and that the public and the media had the right to know about the details of the investigation. Judge Allison Claire agreed stating the the City’s claims of harm were unsubstantiated and lacked specific examples or articulated reasoning.
In entirely unrelated investigations three Sacramento Police Officers are under investigation for fatal shootings. Matt Nichols, a 14 year veteran of the Sacramento Police Department, is being investigated for the fatal shooting of Paul West in Del Paso Heights earlier this year. Officers Nick Tavelli and Edward Macauley fatally shot Jose Beltran during a family altercation in which Beltran allegedly threatened to kill a family member with a butcher knife. The shootings are under review by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office.