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Sworn statements in Lum case point to inconsistencies

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POSTED October 1, 2014 1:17 a.m.

The case involving the arrest of Jeremy Lum by three Lathrop Police officers on July 8, 2009 is riddled with inconsistencies on the part of the defendants, according to sworn depositions which have been affirmed by a judge with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento.

Evidences gathered from the defendants under oath also show potential falsification of records committed and admitted in sworn statements, according to information exclusively obtained by the Manteca Bulletin.

In the original arrest report filed by Deputy Robert Davis on July 8, 2009 produced by the defense in the Lum v. San Joaquin County, et al, case, for example, the box for “mumbles/slurred” was checked with no other list of symptoms observed; however, the paper work charged 29-year-old Jeremy Lum with public intoxication with the code that means he will be handled as a “kick-out” drunk. Davis was one of the three arresting officers named as defendants in the lawsuit filed by Jeremy’s parents, Jerry Lum and Dorothea Timmons.

But in Davis’ sworn deposition on Oct. 12, 2011, the defense produced for the first time a purported second page to the arrest report which contained hand-written information stating Jeremy “was found in the street… staggering, with red watery eyes, slurred speech and the odor of alcohol from his person.” This handwritten information was dated July 11, 2009, two days after the Sierra High School and UC Berkeley graduate was reported missing and three days after his arrest.

Davis, furthermore, testified under oath that he made the hand-written statement on the day of Jeremy’s arrest and that he used the same pen that he used in filling out the first page of the arrest report. But hand-writing expert Patricia Fisher examined the original documents and confirmed that the entries were not made with the same pen, based on court documents.

Sergeant Raymond Walters, who was also one of the three officers who arrested Jeremy, wrote a report a week after Jeremy’s death in which he stated, “I was familiar with Jeremy Lum having a mental health condition… I had spoken with Jeremy Lum in the past….”

But when he gave his sworn deposition 15 months later as one of the defendants, Walters contradicted himself and claimed that he only learned of Jeremy’s mental health issues after the arrest. Further, he testified that he observed no signs of mental health issues at the time of Jeremy’s arrest.

In the sworn testimony given by Correctional Officer Phillip Mendoza, he admitted that he falsified Jeremy’s inmate observation log. He acknowledged that he was supposed to fill out the log and to record each 15-minute check on each person that he placed in a cell, in accordance to county policy. He likewise confirmed in his deposition that there were 24-hour video cameras at the jail including one that was focused on the outside of cell No. 7 where he put Jeremy and where the observation log was posted. Jail videotapes confirm Mendoza not only checked on Jeremy for the first time two hours after putting him in the cell; he also simply wrote that he did the checking at the required 15-minute intervals without actually doing so.

According to another requirement at the county jail, a person like Jeremy who is put in a “sobering cell” must be checked by a nurse within 30 minutes of his placement, with follow-up checks occurring every six hours, or more often, as needed. Evidence revealed in depositions indicates that Jeremy’s first nursing check occurred five hours after he was processed into the jail.

Records of supposed checks by nurses likewise indicate that the first was done allegedly at 5 a.m. with the report signed by a Nurse Velarde. The report claimed that Jeremy was “alert and oriented and his skin was pink and had good turgor.” Another follow-up check claimed that it was conducted at 8:15 a.m. and was signed by a Nurse Naval and stated the same observations.

Videotapes provided by the defendants, however, clearly show Jeremy leaving the jail at 7:37 a.m., a full 38 minutes before Nurse Naval supposedly found him alert and oriented with good turgor.

Additionally, no county officer ordered a medical or psychiatric evaluation or psychiatric evaluation, or tried to determine what medication, if any, was needed to be administered to Jeremy despite the fact they may have had full knowledge of his bipolar disorder, erratic behavior, and that he took medication.

Dr. Charles Saldanha, an expert psychiatrist, in sworn statements concluded after watching the jail videotapes that Jeremy appeared “to be in a very confused state” at the time of his release from jail.

He concluded in his sworn testimony “to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that had Jeremy been adequately monitored, assessed, and managed at any time during his arrest, his stay in jail, or upon his release, he would not have died following his release.”

All of the above factual statements in the Lum v. County of San Joaquin, et al., were taken from documents filed in the case.

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