SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – In his patrol car and drunk.
New court documents show a Sacramento police officer was allegedly drunk and gunned down when Rancho Cordova police stopped to speak to him.
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And the allegations are only being made public now due to a wrongful death trial in which the officer is also named.
The new information comes directly from the city of Sacramento’s own attorney, but it is included in a petition in the wrongful death trial, two years after it happened.
The Sacramento Police Department never mentioned the alleged drunken encounter when it occurred. And now it’s part of the trial in a fatal police shooting case.
Sacramento Police body camera video shows the deadly September 6, 2018 shooting against Darell Richards. The officers who fired the fatal shots were found by the district attorney to have used reasonable force.
The Richards family have filed a wrongful death complaint alleging he was in a mental health crisis at the time of the shooting, pursuing the town and two officers who fired their guns, including Officer Patrick Cox.
Now, inside the trial, there is a motion showing on the eve of the first anniversary of the fatal shooting, Constable Cox was contacted by members of the Rancho Cordova Police Department while he was arrested in a Sacramento Police Department vehicle. It was determined that Mr. Cox was legally intoxicated and had weapons issued by the Sacramento Police Department in the vehicle.
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Lawyer Mark Reichel said the revelation two years later that Cox was caught drunk in his police vehicle by fellow police officers, and was not made public, shows a lack of transparency of the police.
“This is a very important question,” said Reichel. “This really blatant conduct took place right under our noses and no one talked about it. In fact, we are only inadvertently finding out by digging into the media. “
The Sacramento Police Department confirms that no press release has been sent regarding Cox allegedly being caught intoxicated at the time this happened. They confirmed he was no longer an employee of the ministry and declined to comment further, citing the ongoing litigation.
Lawyers for Darell Richards’ family want Cox’s alleged drunk driving in his patrol car included in their case. They ask a judge to unseal the confidential discipline he has received.
Reichel says the timing of the poisoning – a year after the fatal shooting – will be a question lawyers ask when he speaks.
“Tell us, is it because you felt guilt, remorse, that you thought you did the wrong thing,” Reichel said. “I think that’s where they’re going to go with it, and this is really going to be the moment that is going to be the big drama in this courtroom in the Eastern District.”
CBS13 could find no record that Constable Cox was ever arrested or charged with drunk driving in his patrol vehicle.
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The wrongful death case is expected to be tried in the summer of 2022.