Columbus, Ohio, January 8, 2014.  Delaware County and Ohio Highway Patrol officers have been sued in federal court for discrimination and civil rights violations that led to the death of Mexican national Mr. Uriel Juarez-Popoca.  He left a wife, two children, and parents who relied on his remittances for their support.

On July 28, 2012, Uriel Juarez-Popoca made the mistake of driving a vehicle while intoxicated.  He had pulled his vehicle safely out of traffic on Interstate 71 in Delaware County, Ohio when the Defendant Officers confronted him.  Their standard protocol was to apprehend the drunken vehicle operator and hold him safely in their custody until he could be released safely to a third party.  These defendants did not follow that protocol with respect to Mr. Popoca.  Rather, they placed Mr. Popoca in handcuffs and dropped him off at a Taco Bell as a perverse joke, even though Mr. Popoca was obviously disoriented and confused.   From there Mr. Popoca predictably walked back onto the roadway and was killed.  All of the officers were fired from their jobs.  Two have been criminally convicted.

Lead Plaintiff Counsel Al Gerhardstein of Cincinnati stated, “A cruel and dangerous joke was played by these officers on a disoriented and confused man.  Mr. Popoca’s death was predictable.  This case will remind all officers that every person is entitled to fair treatment “including people from Mexico.”   Co-counsel Joel Spitzer of Delaware County stated, “The Popoca family is devastated by Uriel’s death. “A copy of the lawsuit is available here.

Contact:  Al Gerhardstein: (office) 513.621.9100 | (cell) 513.659.4765

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