Saldivar's sister suing city of Cedar Rapids, police in brother's death

Man died en route to jail, while in police custody

Published: January 24 2014 | 7:53 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 2:35 am in

Online court records indicate Paulette Gandara, the sister of Paul Saldivar, has filed a lawsuit against the city of Cedar Rapids and the police officer who arrested her brother in 2012.

Officer Shannon Aguero arrested Saldivar for public intoxication and an outstanding traffic-related warrant May 12, 2012 outside the Hazzard County Saloon in downtown Cedar Rapids. Police say Saldivar tried to run from the first officer he saw, and then resisted attempts to put him into the squad car. An officer pulled him across the back seat so he was lying on his side and not buckled in when the car left for the Linn County Jail.

On the way, police say Saldivar kicked at one door and hit his head on the arm rest of the other door. By the time the officer got to the jail, Saldivar was unresponsive. Deputies at the jail couldn't find a pulse and called an ambulance.

Saldivar's family took him off of life support May 17, 2012. A medical investigation ruled his death accidental. Seven months later, Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden concluded the officers did not use excessive force when arresting Saldivar and said he would not file charges.

When Vander Sanded decided not to prosecute, Paulette Gandara told The Gazette she was considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

However, online court records do not specify the claims Gandara has made in her lawsuit filed Jan. 22 against the city and Aguero. The estate of Paul Saldivar is listed along with Gandara as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

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