Fresno

Fresno strikes six-figure settlement with victim over assault by police officer

The City of Fresno and the Fresno Police Department have a settlement agreement in place with London Wallace, the teen who was seen on police body camera being punched in the face by a Fresno police officer.

Wallace sued Fresno’s police force, alleging Officer Christopher Martinez used excessive force in a 2019 incident where body camera footage showed Martinez punching Wallace, then 17, multiple times.

On Wednesday, London Wallace’s attorneys announced that Wallace will receive a $500,000 payment – pending a vote by the Fresno City Council.

In a statement, the attorneys wrote that it was “unfortunate it took so long for the City to take any responsibility. Mr. Wallace is ready to move on with his life.”

In 2020, Fresno’s independent police auditor disputed the findings of a Fresno Police Department Internal Affairs investigation and then-Chief Andy Hall over whether Martinez engaged in unreasonable force.

In a flurry of seven punches, auditor John Gliatta found four punches were in violation of department policy.

By the fourth punch, Wallace was already covering his head with his arms, he said said.

The settlement agreement is still subject to approval by Fresno’s City Council.

Les Hubbard is a contributing reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun.