Former Elk Grove Police officer convicted in June 2019 excessive force case, faces 4-year sentence

Dash and body cams captured the assault on the suspect by the former Elk Grove Police officer. | 

Former Elk Grove Police officer Bryan Schmidt was convicted yesterday of assault and battery in Sacramento County Superior Court jury trial. 

The case was brought after Schmidt and others officers responded to a June 5, 2019 shoplifting incident at the Burlington Coat Factory store on East Stockton Boulevard where the suspect allegedly assaulted a store loss prevention employee. In that incident, the suspect, Juan Antonio Mendoza had been partially detained on the ground.

With the suspect was on the ground, Schmidt approached him with his gun drawn and said if he did not fully comply, he said was "going to be a bad day." Seconds later, Schmidt stomped on the suspect’s head, knocking him unconscious which developed into subdural hematomas (brain bleeds) that required brain surgeries.

“Law enforcement officers do an outstanding job every day to keep our community safe,” District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said. “Unfortunately, this was a rare instance in which an officer violated the public’s trust and needlessly used excessive force causing serious injuries to an individual. We want to thank the jurors for their commitment and dedication to seeing a just result.”

The incident was notable because Elk Grove Police released body and dashcam videos (see below) of the incident in March 2020. When releasing the video, the Elk Grove Police acknowledged that Mendoza had retained legal counsel for a lawsuit against the city.

After an administrative review, the supervising sergeant at the scene resigned on February 24, 2020, and Schmidt was terminated on March 4, 2020.

Schmidt faces a maximum sentence of 4 years in prison. Sentencing is set for April 8, 2022, at 2:30 p.m. in Department 16 before Judge Delbert Oros.

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