Jason Garcia, Santa Ana Cop, Shot Unarmed Man in Back of Head, Got an Award and Now You Are Paying For His Excessive Force

joseph anthony galarza sapd speedy.jpg
Not weighed down by donuts
There's no dispute that Joseph Anthony Galarza pissed off gang cops in the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD).

During numerous vehicle stops as a passenger, Galarza--a low-level marijuana distributor--fled on foot, easily outran less fit officers and won the label "a runner"--in other words, someone who would not stay to fight cops.

Perhaps you can't blame him from running. In 2006, cops let a police dog viciously attack him and then charged him with assaulting a police officer--yes, actually the dog--after he used his hands to try to protect himself from the bites.

Three years later, Galarza was on probation after going to prison for the illegal pot sales when SAPD gang officers watched him sprint away from another vehicle stop. The cops tried to pin two serious felonies on him, but Orange County prosecutors rejected the charges as a stretch.

On the afternoon of April 17, 2009, the gang unit huddled before a shift to discuss their frustrations. They devised a plan to capture Galarza that night. This time, the officers promised themselves, he wouldn't escape, according to court records.

At about 6 p.m., several police cars stopped a vehicle driven by Galarza's girlfriend not far from South Coast Plaza. Galarza, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, uttered a brief prayer, opened his door and, as was his habit, began running away. Officer Jason Garcia got out of his car with his Glock handgun drawn and repeatedly yelled for him to stop.

But an unarmed Galarza got about 40 feet, reached a six-foot wall and, using both hands to grab the top of the wall, tried to scale it.

As he was on the verge of falling to the other side of the wall, Garcia--who was carrying a Taser and was within range to use the non-lethal weapon--fired three Glock shots from a distance of about 10 feet. One missed. One hit Galarza in the back. One slammed into the back of his head.

Joseph Anthony Galarza SAPD kill.jpg
Witnesses heard three gunshots: boom, boom and a pause before the final head shot
Both hits were lethal, according to an autopsy report on the 22-year-old man's corpse.

To justify the killing, Garcia claimed the absurd: While successfully scaling the wall, Galarza stopped, swung his body to face him, held onto the wall with one arm and reached into his waistband.

The officer asserted that he believed Galarza, who had never once fought officers in numerous encounters, was in the process of reaching for a gun.

Of course, the autopsy report definitively proved the unarmed man had been gunned down from the rear.

And there was this weighty fact: Three witnesses--including a CHP officer and two other eyewitnesses who didn't know each other--insisted that Galarza never turned to face Garcia and never reached into his waistband before the fatal gunshots.

SAPD issued an error-filled press statement that whitewashed the killing and The Orange County Register robots piled on, declaring the victim had been "dangerous" and falsely alleged that Galarza had been wanted for "weapons violations," the charge that prosecutors had already deemed worthless.

On a pro-police website, an administrator opined on the killing that "If you run from the cops, you'll die tired." Comments included: "F**K him, good shot!" and "Who says felons have to be armed to kill them?" and "Where's the grave? I gotta piss."

In 2010, lawyers for Charlene Galarza, the victim's mother, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court in Santa Ana.

Police never admit any wrongdoing in such cases and followed that line in this matter. Garcia justifiably felt threatened before the killing, they argued. In fact, the department helped bolster the cop's record before he hit the witness stand by giving him a "Golden Badge Award" for alleged "Exemplary Performance."

Jason Garcia Santa Ana Police .jpg
Garcia: I got an award!
But the lawsuit never reached a jury.

Santa Ana officials got Galarza's mother to settle the case before trial for $75,000--a deal U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford approved this week inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.

After the settlement, SAPD added a memo to the case file. They said they agreed to pay the money only to "avoid the costs" and hassle of a trial, and added, "We wish that the record be made clear that at no time has [the SAPD] admitted fault or liability or anything other than a settlement."

Go HERE to read my report on a $1 million, April 2012 settlement SAPD paid after the gang unit shot an innocent, unarmed Latino man in the back of the head.

Last month, gang cops in the Anaheim Police Department sparked community protests after an unarmed, 25-year-old Latino man was fatally shot in the back and the back of the head.

Certain cops in Orange County believe they can execute unarmed citizens and then concoct a disingenuous excuse that they felt forced to kill because, though heavily armed, they feared for their own safety.

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26 comments
nowayout714
nowayout714

waow that fat donut eating pig got an award for shooting a unarmed man running away from him??? huh..wow how can u feel your lifes in danger when hes running and your the one with the gun??doesnt make sense but that tells you how crooked is the system and pigs are..even "a chp officer" witnessed and said that the guy did not turn around and reached to his waist band..waow the chp also has a badge on him,and they still refused that the officer did nothing wrong...thats BS right there...well santa ana pigs maybe you should keep your officers from eating too much donuts because i guarantee that there will be more people as you guys call us "felons"running away from you fatass donut eating punks...officers now days are too lazy to run after suspect so they just shoot them...well i could say this "JOSEPH GALARZA" was never convicted of a firearm so he was not a dangerous person...santa ana pigs deparment made him look bad because they wanted to get rid of him for many years because he made there jobs hard.. i mean "galarza" really made them pigs work and made them look dumb...."tell me this how come they didnt shoot him on the legs or in the body" ?  why did it have to be 2 shots to the head execution style?? huh f**k y*U jason garcia karma is gonna get you asshole...f****n p***y..

JamesRobertReade
JamesRobertReade

Diaz attempted to escape prosecution by intentionally posturing from the hip to fake the aiming of a firearm at a peace officer – Acepta las consecuencias cuando competes un crimen! James Robert Reade.

JamesRobertReade
JamesRobertReade

Arrest, Legitimately charge, heavily fine and sweep gangbangers, their graffiti vandal teen brothers and culpable parents from Anaheim! We must unite with our police department and fully support the Anaheim Police Association. We must without compromise protect our police officer's right to defend against the overwhelming domination of gangbangers and graffiti vandals. The end of gangbanging in Anaheim is near! James Robert Reade.

JamesRobertReade
JamesRobertReade

Daniel Rowlett Vice President of Mr. Packaging in Anaheim was truck jacked and stabbed twelve times to death for his wallet by an Anna Drive gangbanger on July 4th. Three gangbangers shot at police who were patrolling Midway Drive on June 1. Police did not fire back. Police arrested all three. A gangbanger stole a vehicle and shot at police on Guinida Lane near Midway Drive on July 22. These three incidents illustrate the complete disregard gangbangers have for human life. Gangbanging in Anaheim is coming to an end! James Robert Reade.

fochoa81
fochoa81

What we need to do is hold the District Attorney acountable for convicting innocent citizens. I think if the D.A. lies to a jury then they themselves should be held accountable for there errors and be put in JAIL. Who do they think they are lying in a courtroom like that (Scary). We need a LAW to HOLD the D.A. accountable NOW! We should not let them have full control of our lives.

swatgunner
swatgunner

I don't see the problem. Good for the SAPD and good for the officer.

psa94
psa94

So aOfficer shot ascumbag gang banger who was previously arrested on carry a gunon to school, hangingin a known drug area with known gang bangers, then ran when approached.

 

If he would of stayed he'd be eating tacos today.

 

The officer did us a favor

TheFullertonista
TheFullertonista

"Certain punk cops in Orange County believe they can execute unarmed citizens and then concoct a disingenuous excuse that they felt forced to kill because, though heavily armed, they feared for their own safety."

 

The problem is that their department's Internal Affairs depts won't recommend charges against these cops and DAs won't charge them.

fc2479
fc2479

Great job Jason Garcia....would love to buy you a steak dinner and more bullets for future happy hunting.....

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

On a positive note, at least there's one less gang member in the world.

psa94
psa94

 @TheFullertonista 

 

1st who said this scum bag was a citizen? More then likely he was a illegal. He was a felon.

 

They have the right to defend themselve.If this illegal would of stayed theit he'd be eating tacos and drinking cerveas today.

 

He was not only a felon he was stoooopid too.

 

The officer did us all a favor

rscottmoxley
rscottmoxley topcommenter

 @fc2479 Oh, boy! Sounds like a party! And he could respond to your affections by buying you a set of balls and an ounce of courage to bark using your real name. Pussy....

rscottmoxley
rscottmoxley topcommenter

 @20ftjesus Hola JC. Despite years and years of effort, SAPD never managed to get him convicted on a single gang charge. It is also true that this human being was never convicted of anything violent--unless you count the police dog incident. And, given your regular bent, that is probably enough to justice his execution before a prosecutor, judge or jury could render a decision.

fc2479
fc2479

 @rscottmoxley Wow, scott....I bet you and gustavo have yet to see a real pussy....you're welcome to come if you dare, after a nice steak we could go out to the desert and bust some caps...

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

 @rscottmoxley Of course, innocents should never be executed by the coppers, but if he was dealing dope on the streets, it's likely the proceeds were going to support gang activity (which likely includes violent activity).  

rscottmoxley
rscottmoxley topcommenter

 @20ftjesus Forgive me, dear 20ftJesus. In the last sentence, replace "justice" with "justify." 

rscottmoxley
rscottmoxley topcommenter

 @fc2479 Dirty Harry of Santa Ana? You're quickly shifting from being childishly amusing to outright stupid. Best wishes in therapy. 

fc2479
fc2479

 @rscottmoxley Think you are taking your job too seriously...you need to chill scott.  Jason is like the dirty harry of santa ana. Don't be jealous......

rscottmoxley
rscottmoxley topcommenter

 @fc2479 Hey coward! Thanks for the third grade insult! I'm so hurt. No fear here, my boy. You? Hah! You can't find the courage to put your punk name on your punk barking. Thanks for the laugh. Pussy....

TheFullertonista
TheFullertonista

 @20ftjesus Oh, now marijuana dealers should face the death penalty?  Are you a drinker?  Let's make alcohol illegal again.  Then if someone sells you a brewski let's shoot them in the head.

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