Family of man shot, killed by Fresno officer in 2015 speaking out, after $4.75 million judgement

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Josephine Lewis, in tears. She’s shed many the past four years, mourning her younger brother Casimero “Shane” Casillas, shot and killed by Fresno police in 2015.

“Not hearing my brother, not being able to have him come through the door,” Lewis said. “We can’t bring my brother back, but at least we got justice.”

Officials say, Casillas failed to pull over during a traffic stop, leading police on a chase, ending at this home on Clovis avenue.

“The suspect was armed with about a 2-foot black pipe, and had advanced toward the officer,” Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said at the scene in 2015.  

Initial investigations and reviews determined that shooting was justified, but Wednesday, a jury decided otherwise.

“Sends a message, not only here but throughout the state,” Attorney Bill Schmidt said.

Schmidt and Eric Valenzuela represented Casillas.

“There was multiple things that the officer could’ve done, instead of immediately resorting to the use of deadly force,” Valenzuela said.

Saying the case, and cases like the Stephon Clark case, show standards need to be scrutinized.

“The police won’t police themself, we have to do that,” Schmidt said.

As for the $4.75 million, the city of Fresno, is on the hook. 

“It’s not likely that the city of Fresno has $4.75 million extra cash, sitting around to pay this judgement,” legal analyst David Mugridge telling us. 

The city releasing this statement, quote, “The city is disappointed with the verdict but respects the jury process and is evaluating its post-trial options.”

Lewis acknowledges her brother had off-and-on struggles with drugs and alcohol. 

He did have prior criminal history.

As far as next steps, attorneys say the city could file a motion or an appeal, so this could take time and the judgement amount could change.

Reporting at Fresno City Hall, Megan Rupe.

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