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Attorney General Bill Lockyer Issues Statement In Response To Jury Verdict In Mike Walker Case
(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today issued the following statement in response to the jury verdict in Santa Clara County Superior Court finding Mike Walker not guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the February 2004 shooting death of Rodolfo Cardenas:
“The death of Rodolfo Cardenas was a tragedy, and my sympathies go to his family. But the jury reached the correct verdict in acquitting Special Agent Mike Walker. For the men and women in law enforcement who work on the front lines to protect the public from crime and violence, the danger they face on a daily basis requires split-second decisions under difficult circumstances. To prepare them for this perilous work, the California Department of Justice requires every one of our agents to undergo extensive training on the use of force and high-speed pursuit policies. Simulations and manuals, however, only go so far in preparing an officer for the real world decisions required when confronting a suspect. Under the circumstances, Agent Walker acted in accordance with his training and his best judgment of a perceived threat. That is why he was appropriately acquitted.
I am pleased for Agent Walker and his family who have lived in the shadow of these charges for two years. I hope the verdict will allow them to put this chapter of their lives behind them.”
Cardenas’ children and his wife have filed two separate civil lawsuits in a San Jose federal court related to his death. These cases have been on hold pending the outcome of the criminal trial. In light of the pending litigation, the Attorney General’s Office will have no further comment beyond this statement.