Lawsuit filed against RPD in death of suspect

Steven Motley, previous mugshot

REDDING, Calif. - A federal lawsuit has been filed by the family of a man who died days after a struggle with Redding Police.

On Oct. 5, 2013, Steven Motley, 33, was involved in a chase, during which he allegedly stole a patrol car and ran from officers.

The chase ended in the back yard of a home on Alta Sega Drive. During his arrest officers called for medical aid and paramedics could be seen doing CPR on Motley.

He died three days later.

An autopsy determined Motley had methamphetamine in his system and died from a drug-induced heart attack during the struggle with police.

The lawsuit claims officers were to blame due to excessive force, including strikes, kicks and blunt force trauma to his head, face and body, as well as use of a stun gun.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Motley's daughter and his mother Carol Adams. Both are seeking wrongful death damages for excessive force, failure to summon medical care, interference with familial relationship, municipal liability, supervisorial liability for constitutional violations, wrongful death, battery and negligence,

Redding Police Chief Rob Paoletti was named as a defendant, along with a total of ten officers and supervisors whose names were not included in the court documents.

The lawsuit claims six officers caught up to Motley and subjected him to excessive force and "deployed their taser at decedent until he was rendered unconscious. The decendent sustained injuries, including but not limited to, multiple fractures, subarachnoid and subdural hemorrhage of the brain, bilateral hemothoraces."

It goes on to claim "officers knew he was seriously injured" and "failed to summon prompt medical care for him ... This use of force was excessive and unreasonable under the circumstances because decedent was unarmed and posed no imminent threat of death or serious physical injury to officers or any other person."

The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages, funeral expenses, and punitive damages.