Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I am Sarah DeClermont, and I will be representing Paolo Fichera in this very important case on what happened on the eventful hours on 15th of April, 2020 where Paolo Fichera was carelessly rammed by a SASP vehicle during evasion while on a bike, leading to body paralysis and leaving him on a wheelchair.
My client Paolo Fichera is a normal citizen with no past criminal record. Let alone criminal record, he doesn't even have a traffic fine or such in his record.
On April 15th, Fichera was driving a freeway around Montgomery. He was driving normally in Montgomery when he was pulled over by a trooper of the San Andreas State Police. Fichera claims that there was no reason for a pull-over since he didn't break any traffic law but we'll let that out of this case considering he might have by broken a minor traffic law. Fichera was panicked by the cops and in the heat of moment, as this was his first interaction with the cops in San Andreas, sped away, evading from them. Keep in mind, Fichera was in no possession of any substance so his mere reasoning of speeding away was panic, not involvement in any other crime. Subsequently, a pursuit was called on Fichera. He drove through Montgomery for a bit before heading towards Los Santos, arriving in East Beach in Los Santos. It was not even ten minutes that the pursuit had been called that Fichera, when taking a left turn from the Santa Monica streets towards the city, was hit by a cruiser who was coming from the opposite direction but allegedly changed its lane to hit Fichera's bike intentionally. Keep in mind, it wasn't sudden. It happened after Fichera was driving straight a few seconds after taking a turn. Fichera was not speeding at all. No pedestrians were around. Fichera fell off the bike and was sent flying right across to the wall to the right side of the road. Not only that, Fichera claims that he had another cruiser hit behind his bike, leading to a second collision that made the bike crash onto him. Fichera immediatelly became unconscious and gained consciousness later in the prison medical center. He had multiple heavy injuries and fractures (skull fracture, spinal fracture, bone fracture) and made his body paralyzed. Fichera submitted an internal affairs report which was subsequently ignored for the first 12 days. Only after the case was filled, did we received a response from the internal affairs that the investigation founds the troopers not guilty.
Today, I will present the following evidences. First. Criminal Record of Paolo Fichera. Paolo Fichera was charged with misdemeanor of evading and reckless driving. He conducted no felony for the troopers to initiate such a heavy pursuit intervention tactics. Second. Pursuit Clauses. Paolo Fichera was driving in a bike, freeway. Fichera was charged with misdemeanor. The accident scene happened in East Los Santos with no pedestrians around, Fichera served no risk to any citizen around. Pursuit was going on for less than ten minutes. ALL these facts point that a pursuit intervention tactic applied in this case - ramming a bike, on Fichera was not legal. Third. Dashcam footage. Dashcam footage clearly shows that the bike was lying near the walls and Fichera was lying on the other side of the road. Practically and physically, a bike flown to the right side of the walls is only possible when a vehicle coming from the other side of the road hits the bike. The location of the bike in the dashcam footage ((https://i.imgur.com/TetRzka.png)) shows that this collision didn't happen immediately when Fichera took a turn, it happened after a few seconds. This debunks Internal Affairs Report claim that the collision happened immediately. Instead, the trooper drove its cruiser to hit Fichera's bike intentionally. We will go on depth on this later. Fourth. It is shown from the Internal Affairs Report that a probationary trooper, Kevin Braxton hit the cruiser. If I'm wrong, defense can tell and I'll let go of this argument. But this explains a lot. A probationary trooper with possibly no prior experience in Law Enforcement could definitely cause this. I can be corrected if I'm wrong and I'll happily redact my statement.
Now it is is true that Paolo Fichera was evading as a criminal and the troopers had moral rights to stop him from evading. But ladies and gentlemen**Sarah DeClermont looks at the jurors**Fichera did a misdemeanor. The pursuit was barely lasting ten minutes and he was on a bike. There is NO way we can allow troopers to do such an inhumane act of hitting a bike with such force that makes Fichera physically disabled. This was not an accident because of Fichera's fault. I have provided the evidences in support. Fichera suffered so many fractures and now has to undergo such an expensive surgery to get back on his legs, due to what? Because he was evading? No. Because the cops could have used other pursuit intervention techniques but they relied on hitting Fichera in an act that led him to this condition.
Ladies and gentlemen, this case is about how the term 'pursuit of a criminal' was used as an excuse to cover the act of troopers hitting a civilian due to their mistake, leaving him physically disabled. Can we leave this act of troopers ignored which is not even legal just because Fichera was the only criminal in this case? Think about it, the troopers who hit Fichera are equally criminals.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury I, Robert Zoltan, will be representing the State Police during this case. To provide some context I am currently a Sergeant II within the San Andreas State Police with a long career in law enforcement that spans decades. I would like to point out some very basic facts for you guys on the jury. The plaintiff is admitting that their client knowingly made the decision to evade from the State Police. No one and I mean no one forced Mr. Fichera to flee from the State Police. Mr. Fichera knowingly made that decision himself, and by doing so put not only himself in harms way, but he also put the Troopers involved in the pursuit and the civilians at large in danger.
I would also like to point out that the plaintiff has no solid evidence to backup their claim that the collision was intentional. There is ZERO bodycam or dashcam footage of the collision occurring, yet they want to build this narrative that paints Mr. Fichera as an innocent victim. Once more I would like to point out that Mr. Fichera himself knowingly made the decision to evade from law enforcement officers, and during the course of the chase that ensued an accident occurred. I want to reiterate something very clear so the ladies and gentlemen of the jury can understand. An ACCIDENT occurred. The plaintiff has no evidence to contradict that claim they have no physical hard proof that the collision was malicious in nature in anyway shape or form.
Let's look at this for what it is ladies and gentlemen. We have a man who committed a criminal act and knowingly endangered many lives including his own, and when by accident he was injured he wants to put the blame on others. Mr. Fichera cannot own up to his mistakes and instead wants the jury to award him monetary compensation for knowingly breaking the law, and putting the public in harms way. Make no mistake about it ladies and gentlemen the decision to run from the State Police was made by Mr. Fichera and he suffered some physical injuries from the ensuing pursuit, but why should the State Police be liable to pay him money when all we have is a fairy tale story about a malicious ramming with no evidence to back it up coming from someone who is now a convicted felon. Ladies and gentlemen what message do we send to the public when we award a criminal a large sum of money in response to a situation he brought upon himself? Pursuits are adrenaline filled and sometimes can be chaotic I have been in my fair share throughout my career, but you want to know one thing they all have in common? The criminals just like Mr. Fichera made the decision to run no one forced them.
**Robert Zoltan flashes a smile to the jury and sits back down.**
** Denzel furrows his brow as he browses through the list of exhibits. ** Miss DeClermont, let us have your case in chief. Feel free to call witnesses and present your exhibits.
(( the contents of the dashcam are to be agreed in private ))