City of Stockton Facing Claims after Bank Robbery

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STOCKTON-

Kelly Huber has been robbed 13 times in her 20 years as a bank employee - four times with a gun in her face, all without injury.

Letting her lawyer speak for her, he says what happened the last time she was robbed and the pain suffered since should never have been.

That day, July 16th 2014, there was a haunting hail of bullets from one of the most violent days ever on Stockton streets - 600 shots fired by more than 20 officers.

Huber's attorney Michael Dyer says police action negligently escalated the situation.

It's the basis of the claim for injury Dyer has filed on her behalf against the city of Stockton and its police department.

Huber was the branch manager for the Bank of the West that became the target of three bank robbers affiliated with the Norteño street gang, eventually rolling out of the car they forced her to drive after she'd been shot.

She'd faced these same gunmen before in her same branch just seven months earlier without injury.

Then, they'd asked for her co-worker's keys to make their getaway but got confused trying to find the car in the parking lot.

To avoid that in July, her lawyer says the 45-year-old complied with the robbers and walked outside the bank to point out her car.

"At that point a Stockton officer blocked the east exit within 20 feet of where Ms. Huber was and pulled out his gun," said Dyer.

Dyer believes the heist could have ended without hostage-taking and the brutal death of hostage turned human shield Misty Holt-Singh, if Stockton police had followed the procedure of other metropolitan police departments.

Such policy would have required them to confront the robbers only after innocent bystanders were out of harm's way.

"By doing it prior to that it leads to the confrontation and decision of the bank robbers to go with the one alternative -- to take hostages -- which is what happened here," said Dyer.

Dyer also says that police failed to 'get eyes' on the robbery from a distance through cameras at Bank of the West's remote command center.

The department was made aware of the video stream.

In the months following the bank robbery Stockton's police chief has spoken out about the uncommon nature of the crime.

"You can do 30 lifetimes of law enforcement and never see something like this. It's that rare," said Chief Eric Jones, at one press conference, designed to detail all that the force dealt with that day.

"The police chief said this was an unusual situation for which they don't have regular rules of engagement or procedure to follow. And if that's true...it's almost unbelievable," said Dyer, as bank robberies in progress are relatively common.

Since the deadly day that put surviving robber Jaime Ramos behind bars, Kelly Huber has had to get used to life in a wheelchair and then on a walker.

She's now on a cane struggling to recover from bones that were shot and broken.

"Her bones will never be the same. She'll always walk with a limp," said Dyer.

The lesson he hopes the city and its police department take away from this claim?

"Lessen the chance of injury and risk to the public," Dyer said.

The city and Stockton police have 90 days to accept or reject Huber's injury claim for at least $500,000 in damages.

If they reject it, Huber plans to sue.

The police department has declined to speak about this ongoing litigation.

Mayor Anthony Silva did not respond to a request for comment.