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Office Of Independent Review Says Fresno Police Used Excessive Force On Teenager

Officer Martinez grabs London Wallace by the wrist before punching him several times.

A Fresno police officer used excessive force on a black 17-year-old male during a January 2019 incident caught on camera, according to an independent auditor’s review released on Thursday.  


The audit says Officer Christopher Martinez continued to punch London Wallace after he was no longer resisting arrest or posed any threat to the officer. 


D’Aungillique  Jackson, a member of the Fresno Police Reform Commission, says the Fresno Police Department should remove Martinez from the force. 


“I think the officer involved should be let go of,” Jackson said. “I don't think the officer should be on desk duty.” 


Independent reviewer John Gliatta told the Fresno Beehe held off on releasing the report in July because he was afraid it would create civil unrest. Jackson said the community’s trust in the Office of Independent Review was already low.  


“It's going to continue to add on to public distress and public unrest,” Jackson said. “We saw with the city council meeting that several community members joined in to voice their upsetness.”  


On Monday, the Fresno Police Reform Commission unanimously approved a recommendation that would restructure the Office of Independent Review and reconsider Gliatta’s position.  


In a statement, Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall said he cannot “disclose personnel decisions involving discipline or corrective action arising from use of force incidents.” 


“I can assure the community appropriate action has been taken to address the level of force applied in the incident involving London Wallace,” Hall said in his statement.    

Madi Bolanos covered immigration and underserved communities for KVPR from 2020-2022. Before joining the station, she interned for POLITCO in Washington D.C. where she reported on US trade and agriculture as well as indigenous women’s issues during the Canadian election. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in anthropology from San Francisco State University. Madi spent a semester studying at the Danish Media and Journalism School where she covered EU policies in Brussels and alleged police brutality at the Croatian-Serbian border.
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