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City Approves Legal Settlement in Police-Related Incident

City Approves Legal Settlement in Police-Related Incident

The City Council approved a settlement on Monday, November 18 that resolves a lawsuit arising out of a police-related incident.

To minimize the burden and expense of federal litigation, Council elected to settle the claims of Plaintiff Gustavo Alvarez that arose out of a police-related incident in February 2018. While the City and Police Department sharply dispute the vast majority of Mr. Alvarez’ claims and have deep concerns about Mr. Alvarez’ continuing criminal behavior, the City believes that this resolution is in the best interests of all involved – including the Police Department, its police officers, and Mr. Alvarez.

Key settlement terms include a monetary settlement of $572,500 to Mr. Alvarez and his attorneys, a public apology from Mr. Benitez (former sergeant with the Palo Alto Police Department) and sworn police officer training scheduled for January 2020.

The Police Department is continuing its own internal investigation of the incident. Since that investigation is pending, the City cannot comment further at this time.

Last Updated: November 18, 2019