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Mother: RPD officers beat son to within an inch of his life

By Tyler May, tmay@krcrtv.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:59:59 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 13 2013 12:12:20 AM CDT
REDDING, Calif. -

The mother of Steven Motley, the man who died after a struggle with Redding police last weekend says officers went too far when they subdued her son after he stole two vehicles — including a police cruiser. She came to KRCR News Channel 7, saying she wanted everyone to know what she calls the truth about what happened.

"They cracked his skull, they cracked his face. They broke his leg. They took a slight fracture on his wrist and made it a compound fracture," says Carol Adams.    

33-year-old Motley died in a Sacramento area hospital earlier this week.

Police say Motley stole a truck, and led officers on a chase through the Western Ranches subdivision in Redding.

Police say he crashed the truck, took off on foot, eventually stealing a patrol car before being subdued by Redding police officers behind a home on Alta Saga Drive. 

An ambulance was called following the arrest and it took nearly twenty minutes to get to the scene. At this point Motley was reported to have gone into cardiac arrest.

Video taken at the scene showed paramedics doing chest compressions on him as they loaded him into an ambulance.    

Carol Adams is adamant about what she believes happened to her son that afternoon.  

"I'm a person who believes in the truth; regardless, if it hurts me or not," said Adams. 

"So I took pictures of my son to prove that, this is not a cardiac arrest, this is they straight up beat him just to about death."

Adams says her son may have stolen a car -- but he didn't deserve to die.

"I believe he was running for his life in fear.  Wouldn't you do the same thing?  Wouldn't you try to get out of there if they were going to kill you?  Wouldn't you do anything to get out of there?" said Adams.

Adams wants to see justice done for her son's death; both for herself and for his children.

"Karma is going to get it one way or the other. If I ever seen them face to face, I'm going to do a citizen's arrest for murder," she says. 

Four officers are on paid administrative leave -- which is normal in these situations.  

The Shasta County Sheriff's Department is handling the investigation. We attempted to reach both departments for comment. Both said there was no one available to speak.

Late in the afternoon, the Sheriff’s office did send out a news release. It said that an autopsy on Motley’s body was done yesterday, but that a cause of death would be “pending a toxicology report.”