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Wednesday, February 20 , 2019, 2:01 am | Fair 43º


Jury Awards Man $5,000 Over SWAT Team Entry

On Friday, after five days of deliberations, a federal court-impaneled jury in Los Angeles awarded Javier Bravo Sr. the nominal sum of $5,000 as a result of a SWAT team entry by the Santa Barbara Police Department at his residence in Tanglewood on April 26, 2006.

The plaintiffs asked for more than $1 million before trial.

The Santa Barbara Police Department performed the SWAT entry pursuant to a search warrant obtained by the Santa Maria Police Department to search for firearms ammunition and other evidence used in a gang-related shooting in which Javier Bravo, Jr. was a suspect.

Bravo’s wife, Hope, and his granddaughter, E.B. (8 at the time), who were both present along with Javier Bravo Sr. at the time of the entry, were awarded nothing.

The jury found that the custody status in the search warrant was inaccurate as to Javier Bravo Jr. at the time of the SWAT entry. The jury also heard evidence that the Santa Maria Police Department actually checked on Javier Bravo Jr.‘s custody, per its customary procedure, with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department substation before finalizing the warrant, which was approved by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office and a Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge.

An employee from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department also testified at trial that she received such a call regarding the custody status of Javier Bravo Jr. from the Santa Maria Police Department and admitted she may have inadvertently omitted information regarding Javier Bravo Jr.‘s status.

— Mark van de Kamp represents the City of Santa Maria.

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