By Verbal Adam | OBSERVER Correspondent
After Sherrano Stingley was severely beaten in an encounter with deputies Dec. 6, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office released video of the arrest. As previously reported by The OBSERVER, it included a recording taken in daylight of a deputy speaking with a woman, whose face is blurred, regarding an incident with an unidentified relative, and a recording of the arrest under nighttime skies.
It is unclear why the sheriff’s office included the daytime video in its official arrest footage. Stingley’s adult daughter Dymin Stingley, who since has identified herself as the woman in the video, has a theory.
“They were trying to do a switch-up where it makes them look good and he’s a violent person,” Dymin told The OBSERVER. “That [daytime] footage was a couple of days before, on [Dec. 4].
Dymin said deputies had responded to another call from the same address on Dec. 4 after an altercation between her and her father.
“My father put me in my place as he should. They want to turn him into a violent person,” she said.
Two days later, on Dec. 6, Stingley, 48, became unresponsive during an arrest and spent nearly two weeks on life support at Kaiser South. He died Dec. 16.
The date and timestamp from the conversational portion of the footage isn’t visible, while it is visible on the footage of the arrest.
In the incident that led to Stingley’s death, deputies had responded to a call from a frightened resident of the Willow Wood neighborhood in South Sacramento. The resident told dispatchers that someone was in their driveway trying to steal the catalytic converter from their vehicle. Minutes later, the resident called again saying that the person was now attempting to kick down the front door of the home and that the caller had barricaded themselves and their family in the garage. Several minutes later, deputies arrived and took Stingley into custody after a struggle.
On the sheriff’s official YouTube page where the video is posted, no reference in its description is made to the video’s conversational segment. Sgt. Amar Gandhi, the sheriff’s public information officer, told The OBSERVER that the office cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.
The family has requested public release of footage from the body cameras of other deputies on the scene Dec. 6. They cite Assembly Bill 748, which requires law enforcement agencies to produce, in response to public records requests, video and audio recordings of “critical incidents,” defined as incidents involving the discharge of a firearm at a person by a peace officer or custodial officer, or an incident in which the use of force by a peace officer or custodial officer against a person resulted in death or great bodily injury.
Under AB 748, which became law July 1, 2019, a public agency may delay disclosure for between 45 days and one year during an active criminal or administrative investigation if disclosure will “substantially interfere” with the investigation, including endangering a witness’ or confidential source’s safety.
The sheriff’s office has said it will not release additional footage in the Stingley case. “Our new sheriff, Jim [Cooper], has adamantly said he’s not releasing video,” Tanya Faison, of the Sacramento Chapter of Black Lives Matter, told The OBSERVER. “He used the excuse that it was an in-custody death and that’s the reason why he’s not doing it. But we know that the first video that they did release was an in-custody death with Marshall Miles.”
Marshall Miles died in the Sacramento County Jail four days after being arrested in 2018. Video of his arrest was made public following an AB 748 request. The sheriff’s office noted that, while Miles was not in custody at the time of his death, the incident is still being investigated as an in-custody death for reporting, evidence collection and preservation, and analysis purposes.
Faison said that establishes precedent.
“They released that video,” she said. “They mentioned at that time that they’re complying with the new law.”
Dymin Stingley, who spoke to the OBSERVER on behalf of the family, says withholding additional footage is only part of the “cover-up.” She said she has photos of various cuts and injuries on her father’s body taken in the days after the arrest. She also said several of his teeth had been knocked out.
The family retained local attorney Mark Merrin and has filed a civil suit against the County of Sacramento, former Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. A coroner’s report on Stingley’s death is expected soon.
“Why not give us the other angles?” Dymin Stingley said. “Because they know that they did something wrong and they also know that they’re going to get in trouble for the things they did.
“We don’t want money. We just want the people that murdered my father to be in jail.”