California hostage’s family seeks police records

Police investigators are shown at the scene of a bank robbery Wednesday July 16, 2014 in Stockton, Calif. Three bank robbers took three screaming women hostage as they made a getaway and waged a high-speed gunbattle with police that left three people dead and cars and homes riddled with bullets, authorities said.  (AP Photo/Stockton Record, Craig Sanders)
Police investigators are shown at the scene of a bank robbery Wednesday July 16, 2014 in Stockton, Calif. Three bank robbers took three screaming women hostage as they made a getaway and waged a high-speed gunbattle with police that left three people dead and cars and homes riddled with bullets, authorities said. (AP Photo/Stockton Record, Craig Sanders)

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — An attorney representing the family of a bank robbery hostage who was slain during a gun battle with police said Friday that he is seeking documents, dispatch logs, video and other evidence authorities gathered during the chaotic incident.

Speaking at a press conference Friday in Stockton, attorney Greg Bentley also called for the police to turn over its guidelines and protocols for high-speed pursuits and use of deadly force. Bentley said he filed formal public records requests for the information. Bentley also asked for copies of video shot by witnesses of the bank robbery, car chase and shootout in Stockton on Wednesday that ended with the death of Misty Holt-Singh and two gang members thought to have participated in the robbery of the bank where the mother of two was abducted.

Bentley said the family isn’t yet contemplating a lawsuit, but it does want to know what happened.

Holt-Singh’s husband and two children also briefly addressed the media to discuss the loss of a wife and mother.

Daughter Mia Singh was waiting in the car while her mother was in the bank withdrawing money for a haircut, said family friend and lawyer Michael Platt. Mia recalled how Holt-Singh attended all her softball games and never forgot to bring orange juice. Mia said her mother was always trying to horn in on her Snapchat sessions and relentlessly chewed on ice.

“I love you mom,” the 12-year-old said before bursting into tears and turning to her father for comfort.

Holt-Singh and a pair of bank employees were forced into a stolen SUV at gunpoint just as police converged on the parking lot of a Bank of the West branch. What followed was a chaotic, hourlong chase through this Northern California city that ended with a furious gun battle. When it was over, the 41-year-old mother of two was dead in the back of the vehicle.

Police said that suspect Jaime Ramos, 19, the only one of the three to survive, used her as a human shield as the bullets flew back and forth. An autopsy may determine whether the bullet that killed Holt-Singh was fired by officers or the robbers.

Most police departments discourage shooting at getaway cars during chases. But the taking of hostages and hail of bullets coming from the suspect’s vehicle forced Stockton police to make the split-second decision to use their own weapons while knowing they might harm an innocent civilian.

“What happened to Misty is a nightmare,” husband Paul Singh said. “It’s something I would never want to happen to anybody.”

 

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