By Verbal Adam | Special to The OBSERVER
UPDATE (12/19/22) – According to a spokesperson for the Sacramento County Coroner Stingley has passed away. His official time and date of death are 2:45 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16. Dymin says her father’s body was taken from the hospital by the coroner on Sunday, Dec. 18.
Early on the morning of Dec. 6, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call from someone saying a person was in their driveway attempting to steal the catalytic converter from their work vehicle.
Minutes later the same person called again saying someone was outside trying to kick in their front door. The caller had barricaded themselves and their three children in the garage.
This set into motion an encounter between 48-year-old Sherrano Stingley and Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies in the 7500 block of Whisperwillow Drive that left Stingley in intensive care at Kaiser South on life support with no brain activity.
The incident has brought on the actions of local community activists.
“I followed up with my Sacramento NAACP office regarding this incident and reviewed the video,” said Betty Williams, Greater Sacramento NAACP president. “I immediately reached out to [Sheriff] Jim Cooper to deal with this issue and I’m waiting on his response.”
Black Lives Matter Sacramento founder Tanya Faison also is working with the family to file a suit against the sheriff’s office, which released a statement and bodycam footage Dec. 8 that consists of two videos stitched together non chronologically.
The statement paints a picture of a career criminal and drug user who failed to comply with police orders. “The suspect in this incident, who has no formal address, was arrested on multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of attempted burglary, resisting executive officers, prowling on property of another and battery of a peace officer,” it reads. “Furthermore, he is noted as a prolific offender and is on formal-searchable probation until 2024 for civilian battery and vandalism.”
The statement continues: “Once at the hospital, doctors determined the suspect had cocaine, meth, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and prescription methamphetamine in his system and had experienced a serious medical emergency while exerting himself during the fight. Physicians determined the suspect’s prognosis was grim.”
The bodycam footage’s time and date stamp is missing from the first video, which begins in the daylight hours Dec. 6. Based on statements made in the video and context clues, it was taken hours after the incident, across the street from where it occurred. The video then transitions to bodycam footage of the predawn arrest, which takes place at 5:41 a.m.
The OBSERVER spoke with Dymin Davis, a woman who identified herself as Stingley’s daughter. She told The OBSERVER she believed her father was experiencing a mental health crisis. She provided a recording of a surveillance video from outside of the home adjacent to where Stingley was arrested. The video is time stamped 5:25 a.m., indicating it was taken 16 minutes before the beginning of the sheriff’s bodycam footage of the incident.
In the bodycam footage with the missing timestamp and taken in daylight, deputies are getting a statement from a woman whose face is blurred, but identifies herself as Stingley’s daughter. She describes a physical altercation she had with her father the day before, in which she asked him to leave her home and that he choked and scratched her. She said that around 5 a.m. she was told that her father was outside of her home steps away from where he was arrested, and that he was seeking entry and was screaming and yelling. It is unclear if she directly refused him, or if it was done on her behalf, but she goes on to say neighbors called her relatives and threatened to harm Stingley if he approached their property and that “no matter what, if someone is going to touch my dad it’s going to be a rumble,” implying that despite their differences, she was prepared to physically defend Stingley.
In the arrest footage that begins at 5:41 a.m., the deputy rounds one of two trucks parked in the driveway with a weapon in one hand, flashlight in the other. Stingley stands in the vestibule between the front door of the residence and a damaged gated vestibule door facing the deputy. The deputy calls out, “What are you doing?” to Stingley, who then runs toward the rear of one of the trucks parked in the driveway of the home. Deputies order him to raise his hands and get on the ground, at which point Stingley sits with his hands raised.
The deputy grabs the hood of Stingley’s sweater with his flashlight hand and as Stingley appears to turn toward the deputy, the deputy begins pulling on Stingley’s hood. Stingley, now unable to see, reaches up and attempts to grip the hood but cannot. His hand connects with the deputy’s flashlight, which he then grips and begins to pull. The deputy holsters his weapon as Stingley, now in fetal position, has wrapped his arms around the deputy’s calf. As other deputies join the fray, Stingley grabs the arm of another deputy, who threatens to tase him if he doesn’t let her go.
Deputies roll Stingley onto his abdomen and continue to tell him to let the deputy go, Stingley grunts repeatedly and refuses. His grunts become pained sounds as deputies place his legs in a figure-four. Nearly a minute later, Stingley is still resisting being handcuffed. At 5:43 he lies on the ground with a male deputy holding his legs in a figure-four. A second male deputy has Stingley’s outstretched right arm pinned and a female deputy pinning his back and wrestling for control of his left arm.
As the female deputy appears to gain control of Stingley’s left arm, he powers out of her grip, returning his hand to the ground. She punches Stingley in the back of the head and immediately says “sorry.”
At 5:44:15 a.m. Stingley is handcuffed. The female deputy keeps repeating to arriving deputies not to let Stingley up because he will keep fighting. At 5:44:19 a.m., a second female deputy is visible. She appears to have her arms wrapped through Stingley’s right armpit, with one elbow pushing down from his back and the other putting pressure on his head/neck area.
Stingley manages to grab the tip of the sleeve of the first female deputy with his fingertips and pulls the fabric as she shouts for him to let her go. At this point Stingley’s grunts become noticeably less audible.
At 5:44:40 a.m. he raises his head and the second female deputy, her elbow visibly on Stingley’s neck, applies enough pressure to force his head back down. Stingley stops making audible noise. For the next minute and 13 seconds he remains in this position. When deputies attempt to make him stand, he falls to a kneeling position with his eyes closed and head bowed.
Ten seconds later, deputies notice he isn’t breathing and has no pulse. The video ends 12 seconds later as Davis approaches.
In the surveillance video provided by Davis, a man she identified as Stingley appears to be frantically running from something off camera. He approaches the driver side of a vehicle parked in the driveway adjacent to where he was arrested, taps on the vehicle’s window and appears to speak toward the driver seat while pointing in the direction he came from. He casually leans against the vehicle’s front, appearing to continue to talk and point, and enters on the passenger side, leaving the door open. The interior lights turn on, revealing no one to be in the driver seat.
Simultaneously, the headlights of the adjacent vehicle turn on, and that vehicle begins reversing out of the driveway fast enough so that the mirror of its driver-side door slams shut the passenger door of the vehicle Stingley’s in. It then turns onto the street and speeds off. Stingley, still illuminated by the interior lights and on his knees in the passenger seat facing the vehicle’s rear, doesn’t appear to notice or respond to what happened behind him. He crouches and moves between the front seats before opening the door and sprinting off camera toward the house where his arrest took place.