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Former Rocklin cop settles excessive force suit for $40k

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Former Rocklin Police officer Brad Alford, acquitted of felony charges at trial in 2019, has agreed to settle an excessive force lawsuit relating to a separate arrest in 2017 for $40,000.

“We have engaged in a settlement conference this morning, and this case has settled on the following material terms and conditions,” Magistrate Judge Allison Claire said at a hearing in April. “In exchange for a single payment of $40,000, Mr. Stowe will dismiss this lawsuit and execute a settlement agreement in which he releases defendants from liability for any claims, known or unknown, arising from the events identified in the complaint.”

Stowe, through attorney John R. Whitefleet, filed a stipulated dismissal notice to the court with prejudice on Wednesday, meaning the action can’t be filed again. The $40,000 settlement includes no admission of liability or guilt from Alford and serves only to close the case.

Stowe alleged in the complaint that Alford threw him to the ground as he tried to get up after falling asleep on the sidewalk. The man went on to say Alford roughed him up in a scuffle, dropped him onto the pavement, and pushed him by his neck into a chair at the hospital later that night.

Alford claimed in an arrest report that Stowe “began pulling away” and “spinning towards” him, and said his hand inadvertently slid up Stowe’s chest and onto his throat at the hospital.

The Placer County District Attorney’s Office later found the charges against Stowe in relation to the incident to be questionable and dropped the case in the interest of justice.

Alford was previously acquitted of several felonies in 2019 in relation to the beating of a Hispanic motorist charged with DUI. Video released by the District Attorney’s Office shows Alford striking Emilio Chavez over a dozen times with his baton as Chavez cries out in distress.

The officer, fired following his arrest, claimed at trial that Chavez was kicking in his direction and said he used his baton in self-defense. A jury bought the argument, but the District Attorney’s Office remained adamant that the video “speaks for itself.”

“Our office does, however, stand by our investigation and continues to believe that the prosecution in the case was appropriate given the video evidence that was presented to the Jury,” the office said in a statement. “It remains clear to our office that Alford’s conduct was excessive and certainly not consistent with the conduct of other law enforcement officers in our County.”

Ethan Biando
Ethan Biando is a freelance journalist from Sacramento. His writing focuses on crime, courts, and policing. Find him on Twitter @ethanb822

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