In January 2019, Fresno police SWAT officers killed Oliver Hernandez Jr. inside his family’s home because officers said they feared Hernandez was about to strike them with an axe. Over the next four years, the Fresno Police Department denied any wrongdoing, saying Hernandez’s own actions forced officers to shoot him. However, Fresno County Superior Court records paint a different account. Three SWAT officers used a battering ram to bust open a bedroom door, toss in a flash-bang grenade, and shoot a disorientated and defenseless, mentally ill Hernandez in a span of about 17 seconds. In March of 2023, the city of Fresno paid Hernandez’s family $1 million to settle their Superior Court wrongful death, civil rights lawsuit. The city also paid an outside legal firm around $530,000 to defend the city and police. Even when presented with the evidence, Fresno Police Department won’t admit wrongdoing or discipline its officers.
Attorneys Stuart Chandler and William Schmidt represented the Hernandez family. They are currently working on the 2020 Fresno police shooting of Gerald Johnson, 55, whose death has led to another civil rights, wrongful death lawsuit. Chandler and Schmidt have been involved in some of the biggest Fresno police shooting cases in recent times. The attorneys have represented the families of Isiah Murrietta-Golding, Casimero “Shane” Casillas, and Dylan Noble, whose cases resulted in multi-million dollar settlements.
Chandler Law is committed to seeking justice for those who have suffered harm at the hands of law enforcement. The evidence and large settlements indicate that police were not justified in shooting Murrietta-Golding, Casillas, Noble, and Hernandez. Chandler Law can assist those who have been victimized by the police in pursuing their rights and seeking justice.
The killing of Oliver Hernandez Jr. is another example of the Fresno Police Department refusing to admit wrongdoing or discipline its officers, even when presented with evidence. If you or someone you know has been the victim of police misconduct, contact Chandler Law today by calling (559) 825-2318. The experienced attorneys at Chandler Law will work tirelessly to pursue justice and hold law enforcement accountable for their actions.