Orange County Cop Shot Man Holding Cell Phone, Claims He Thought It Was A Handgun

On Aug. 25, 2011, La Habra police officer Jason Sanchez arrived at the scene of a domestic dispute after 10:30 p.m., parked behind Manuel Galvan's Honda Accord, observed Galvan standing next to the vehicle's open driver's door, turned on his powerful spotlight to illuminate the suspect about 20 feet away, saw the man point a handgun at his wife and fired his police Glock 21 semi-automatic gun, striking Galvan. The suspect then pointed the weapon at Sanchez and, fearing for his life, the cop fired two more shots. Galvan dropped to the ground, but survived multiple wounds.

This picture depicts what Sanchez claims he clearly saw in Galvan's right hand:

GunOrPhone.jpg

Galvan, who was guilty of violating a restraining order filed by his separated wife, tells a different story. When Sanchez arrived, the officer exited his vehicle, immediately pulled his gun and ordered Galvan "to drop whatever you have in your hand." Confirmed by a witness, the suspect replied, "It's a cell phone," raised his arms in the shaped of a football goal post, tossed what had been in his right hand on the roof of the Honda and resumed holding both arms up when Sanchez began firing his Glock.

This picture depicts what Galvan actually held in his hand:

PhoneOrGun.jpg

Sanchez wants us to believe he saw the man holding a handgun and pointing it in threatening ways, but no weapon was recovered at the scene.

What was found was the phone exactly where Galvan's account said it would be: on the roof of the car.

In the cop's version, the cell phone/handgun should have been found on the ground.

But Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) investigators probed the shooting and, as they customarily do in such cases, cleared Sanchez of wrongfully discharging his weapon. Their June 2013 report lends ham-fisted credence to the officer's observations of the handgun.

"Galvan was holding the black object in a clenched fist as if he were holding the pistol grip part of a gun, exposing the side of the gun between his thumb and pointing finger," the OCDA report claimed. "Officer Sanchez believed it was the slide of the gun due to the way Galvan had the black object canted [or tilted]."

The reality-suspending report did not explain how a cell phone could be mistaken for a handgun.

eyechartsanchez.jpg
The Galvan incident wasn't the first time Sanchez's conduct raised eyebrows. Violating La Habra PD rules, he'd taken a second, secret job with the City of Commerce. In 2012, that city conducted an investigation into Sanchez and revealed he'd been "intentionally dishonest," including falsifying reports, falsifying time cards to steal unearned pay, ignoring directives from superiors and neglecting official duties. He quit after being notified he would be fired. Police lawyers fought to keep the Commerce information out of public view.

The City of La Habra apparently didn't like its chances of defeating Galvan's federal civil rights lawsuit and settled before the excessive force case can get to a jury.

Sanchez asserts that his badge gives him immunity from Galvan's lawsuit and believes the case should be thrown out by U.S. District Court Judge Jesus G. Bernal, a former high-ranking public defender in Los Angeles.

"The court cannot grant summary judgment on the grounds that the use of force by Sanchez was reasonable under the circumstances," Bernal concluded in his April 8 ruling that also declared a future jury should consider the dispute over "genuine issues of fact."

A July 1 trial is scheduled.

Years ago, Village Voice, the Weekly's New York sister paper, ran a cover story about a cop who explained he needed to shoot a black man because he was holding a weapon.

In reality, the man held this:

lahabracopshoot.jpg
Loaded with lethal peanuts and caramel nougat

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Email: rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.

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47 comments
Suntantatas
Suntantatas

I must call and thank the Ryan Sabba who is representing Mr.Galvan, then notify my own lawyers to file the Pitches Motion before we go to court in May. I told La Habra PD,  Officer Sanchez was going to kill someone, little did I know he tried to but his aim sucks  Make no mistake I am normally Pro Police but in just one instant Officer Sanchez has not only caused me to question LEOs, this has driven a wedge between my family (the ones who work as LEOs vs the rest of us).

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

It seems many cops don't even think twice about using lethal force when the "suspect" is a non-Caucasian. (Certain exceptions duly noted).

fratdawgg23
fratdawgg23

We the People must stop deifying the police. Too many years of calling police officers 'heroes' just for making it to work on time has emboldened them beyond reason. They deserve to be held accountable for mistakes and misconduct. They are granted the power to use lethal force, but we have allowed them to run amok without consequence.


It is no longer a matter of a few Bad Apples. There are enough Bad Apples to fill an orchard.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... Cops are cowardly lowlife homicidal criminal scumbags.



sweetliberty1776177
sweetliberty1776177

HOLD IT LEFTARDS


you're caught by your own game


sounds insane that a phone could be mistaken for a gun


OCME ON!!


RIGHT!?!



but little kids are being punished/ suspended at school for eating cookies and the cookies "look like a gun"


or playing good vs bad and using their little fingers as "guns"



whats its going to be lefty


zero tolerance or giving your choke hold on society


yeah,


thats what I thought 

Tim Sesler
Tim Sesler

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Nomad
Nomad

In re: to breaking news, I know it does not concern original thread, indulge me. 2 victims running out of apt. where they had been assaulted by knife wielding assailent, encounter a SD, who opens fire on the second man running behind the first, making good their escape. Query, did the victim who was then in turn victimized by SD have a weapon? a knife?, an m-50?, a cell phone? Even if he had been the assailent, what was the justification for shooting before ascertaining whom the actors were, and what role they played in the altercation? Just another citizen shot to death by a Public servant.....time will tell.

occopwatch.com
occopwatch.com

Dear Police, We've reached out to you so many times with no response. What are you scared of? Give us a call, we'll make a great youtube video! 949-860-7373

Nomad
Nomad

PD's are still operating under the old M.O. When a criminal public servant commits a crime, they run and hide behind P.O.A., and the higher ups sweep it under the rug. But with modern technology, that makes every one on the street, a potential cameraperson and able to post direct to the internet, the citizenry, that normaly would not have any police interaction  are starting to see for themselves, the behavior of some, not all, criminal public servants, Change can be difficult and take time, but I think if we all watch each others back and keep filming them when they engage in criminal activities and keep sueing their a**'s off we can make changes for the better.........as I type this, Breaking News: Officer involved shooting, mistaken identity....

panhead20
panhead20

I fear for my life whenever I see a police officer. Do I have the right to shoot police on sight? The police feel if their life is threatened they can shoot citizens.

Rucus
Rucus

These 'incidents' are happening more, and more all of the time.

Whophantom
Whophantom

A typical "oops cover my ass report" protected by OCDA. All Police  shootings and unnecessary use of force such as these should go to FBI. There are to many " I thought I saw a gun, suspect was reaching for his waistband, suspect did not comply, etc etc.. 

Vicarious liability is what Sanchez is.

Nomad
Nomad

A tactic to make people fear filming them? I think by now, everyone is aware of how frightened criminal public servants are of the publics cameras, even their own dept. issued recording devices. Like childish bullies, attempting to disable over half of the antennae on their tax payer purchased patrol vehicles. And big daddy Beck, sweeps it all under the rug...

JGlanton
JGlanton topcommenter

The real cause of the shooting: Azazel.



La Habra should have fired him for stealing pay from Commerce, on top of breaking rules about the second job. There should be zero tolerance for stealing from the taxpayers. Then this shooting wouldn't ever have happened.

David Santoro
David Santoro

Government needs their police force to be stupid in case there is ever Marshall law declared. They need dummies to blindly follow and enforce whatever orders they dictate.

Rachel Peress
Rachel Peress

It never ends...some cops shouldn't be cops! Every cop needs to be reevaluated ASAP!

jimgilchrist
jimgilchrist

I think the vile comments about Officer "Sanchez" are sourced in racist, hate-inspired lunacy.   The thugs posting here appear to hate Officer Sanchez because of his hispanic name more than because he was involved in a justifiable shooting.


R. Scott Moxley, like other dirty journalists, gloat over the divisiveness they can bring to what otherwise would be peaceful communities where persons have mutual respect for each other.   


On the positive side, though, we need loons like Moxley (and Mickadeit of the OC Register) so we can compare the aberrant mindsets of dirty journalists to the rational mindsets of the professional journalists.


Jim Gilchrist, The Minuteman Project

-a multiethnic immigration law enforcement advocacy group-

jimgilchrist
jimgilchrist

The problem is not with the police officer involved in this justifiable shooting.  The problem is the person who created an incident requiring a police response during night time when it is impossible to distinguish between a handgun or a cell phone in the hands of someone who instigated a domestic dispute.


I think Galvan should be thankful that Officer Sanchez did not mortally shoot him.  Officer Sanchez deserves a commendation.


Jim Gilchrist, The Minuteman Project

taidodinh
taidodinh

damm f the pigs sue the department n the city

imgrammadee
imgrammadee

Just confirms my opinion of ALL cops -- they are TRIGGER HAPPY, VIGILANTES IN UNIFORM, on the City's payroll.


"But Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) investigators probed the shooting and, as they customarily do in such cases, cleared Sanchez of wrongfully discharging his weapon."  OF COURSE THEY cleared Sanchez as they "CUSTOMARILY DO" 


Why does this NOT surprise me????

Bill Martin
Bill Martin

fucken pigs that the cities hire are fucken fat blind morons that cannot graduate 6 th grade they should have been a fucken congressman

Larry Siratt
Larry Siratt

Did the officer have several clones around the globe? #OrphanBlack

Nomad
Nomad

Great job! OC weekly. Keep exposing the crimes committed by these  criminals with badges and their laughable explanations.

Nomad
Nomad

And the man that opened fire in LAPD felt an officer was suspiciously reaching for his side arm.....and it turned out to be a pen. "Tragic" accident.....

gtnoriega
gtnoriega

@panhead20 If they decide to shoot you, they pretty much can get away with it.  Anything can appear as a gun to them.

occopwatch.com
occopwatch.com

@jimgilchrist  Test of your manhood. Give us a call and we'll make a great youtube video! Why have you not called us yet? (after several attempts to reach you) Our hotline is open to the public. Little boy behind a keyboard can't pick up a phone? Prove yourself to EVERYONE on here! 

949-860-7373 Put your big boy pants on...


ElChapo1
ElChapo1

@jimgilchrist Really? What about the Hispanic cop From Fullerton PD who beat up and murdered Kelly Thomas?  Do you see R. Scott Moxley going after fat Manny RAMOS!?!?! HELL YES!!!

And his 1 eyed bandit friend Jay Cincinelli and Wolf and the rest of those pig scum Fullerton Police Officers.

Suntantatas
Suntantatas

@jimgilchrist I am the daughter of a cop, I warned the La Habra Police Dept Officer Sanchez was a liar and held me at gun point.  I believe the article cites he admitted to lying and collecting pay he hasnt earned.  You can thank him, but I will be trying my hardest to make sure he never carries a badge again. 





bphood
bphood

@jimgilchrist o.k. jim...the state can do no wrong except patrol the borders...right?

occopwatch.com
occopwatch.com

@jimgilchrist  Test of your manhood. Give us a call and we'll make a great youtube video! Why have you not called us yet? (after several attempts to reach you) Our hotline is open to the public. Little boy behind a keyboard can't pick up a phone? Prove yourself to EVERYONE on here! 

949-860-7373 Put your big boy pants on...

gtnoriega
gtnoriega

There are plenty of bad apples in their ranks to be sure.

jimgilchrist
jimgilchrist

I suppose you hate everyone else, too, depending on their particular race, color,or creed.  You are a bigot who probably hates everything and everyone.  What a sad sack.


Jim Gilchrist, The Minuteman Project

fc2479
fc2479

think you need jenny craig and alot of running 

jimgilchrist
jimgilchrist

@imgrammadee  It doesn't surprise you because you want Officer Sanchez, and all innocent cops everywhere, to be guilty of something.  


Lynching all of the nation's cops is not a solution to whatever bothers your feeble mind.  


You are quite ignorant in thinking that behind every police badge is a criminal just waiting to leap out.  Certainly makes you a one man witch-hunting lynch mob…something our communities can do without.  


JimGilchrist, The Minuteman Project

gtnoriega
gtnoriega

You are correct in pointing out that the education required to be a cop is low.

fc2479
fc2479

@Nomad  Yea, for the idiot that walked in and thought he could engage the police in a gun fight, in their house....think he is 12 feet under now....best of all one of cops lighting him up was a female cop..ha haha...

rscottmoxley
rscottmoxley topcommenter

@jimgilchrist  Dearest Jimmy boy: I see you're commenting again from your local, whites-only, South OC country club bar. How can you be so miserable during your daily Happy Hour indulges? Cheap gin? Stale peanuts? Tired of sitting alone? Were you not able to find a teenage Latino to run over in a school crosswalk today? 

Nomad
Nomad

@fc2479 @Nomad Incidents like this puts all public servants on notice, that they had better "clean out their house" of badged criminals in the dept. There are elements in society that feel that they have been pushed to far, and will retaliate by any means possible. It would be "tragic" should a good, law abiding, public servant, have to pay the price for the criminal conduct of another badged thug.

Nomad
Nomad

@fc2479 @Nomad Oh, in your eyes female cops are less powerful, less authorative, less deserving of respect? What's your problem? Don't you like women? Not that there's anything wrong with that...

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