Saturday, December 15, 2012

Video shows cop fatally shooting man ELEVEN times outside his home - but the officer was CLEARED of any wrongdoing

The cop appeared to know the suspect by name, so that may be exculpatory. He would be justified in being nervous of someone he knew as a gang-banger with a violent record

Graphic footage of a police officer shooting a man eleven times outside a suburban home - killing him - has been released a day after the officer was cleared of wrongdoing.

Attorneys for Ernesto Duenez Jr., 34, showed the video, which was recorded by a camera in the cop's patrol car on June 8, 2011, at a press conference in Oakland, California on Wednesday.

It shows police waiting for Duenez, who was wanted in connection with a domestic violence incident that day, to arrive at a friend's home. They swoop on the home once he arrives in a pickup truck.

Duenez, a passenger in the truck, can be seen climbing across the seats and opening a door as Manteca police officer James Moody runs towards the vehicle with his gun pointed.

Police have claimed the officer saw a knife in the man's right hand and feared he might throw it or charge at him in the frantic, fast-paced exchange. Duenez's family's attorney says he was unarmed.

On the video, Moody is heard shouting: 'Drop the knife now!' and 'Hands up! Hands up, Ernie! Don't you move, Ernie, don't you move or I'll shoot you!'

The officer is seen firing 13 bullets in 4.2 seconds as Duenez moves to get out of the car.

He was shot 11 times - once in the head, eight times in the body and twice in the extremities - and four were while he was on the ground. He died of gunshot wounds to his chest and abdomen.

On the video, a bullet wound can be seen in Duenez's back as he rolls around on the ground clutching his chest.

His wife, Whitney Duenez, then runs from the home, screaming at the police officer, who tells her to stay back. She runs to her wounded husband and sobs over his body.

The video also shows that it was not until after more officers arrived on scene and attempted to move Duenez that they realised his foot was caught in the seatbelt, the Manteca Bulletin reported.

The video was obtained by John Burris, an Oakland attorney who filed a wrongful-death federal lawsuit against Manteca Police and Moody in July, through the discovery process in the case.

He released it at the news conference a day after the San Joaquin County district attorney's office decided that Moody had been legally justified in shooting the man.

Police said they later found an eight-inch 'throwing knife' with a four-inch blade in the bed of the truck. Moody, who has been on the police force for 12 years, had believed he was in danger, the San Fransisco Chronicle reported.

And video experts for the district attorney's office said it did look as though Duenez had a knife in his hand at the start of the footage. Yet they lost sight of it and did not know how it ended up in the bed.

He had allegedly been involved in a domestic disturbance that day with his wife and witnesses claimed he was carrying the knife and was known to carry a gun, but none was found at the scene.

Burris said that Duenez had not been armed and was trying to surrender. He added that even if there was a knife 'he made no aggressive movements toward the officer'.

The attorney said he has asked the U.S. Justice Department to open an investigation and pursue murder charges against 40-year-old Moody.

'We have communicated to the Department of Justice that this man should be prosecuted for murder,' Burris said. 'He should be held accountable just like anyone else would be held accountable when they engage in this kind of barbaric conduct.'

In the report, the district attorney said Duenez was a gang member who served three prison sentences for drug, stolen vehicle and assault with a deadly weapon charges. Burris added that the man was in violation of his parole.

Burris added on Wednesday: 'This family seeks retribution. They want this man prosecuted for this conduct and I’m certainly going to do whatever we can with the Department of Justice as well as the US Attorney’s office to see if we can make that happen.'

Duenez's mother, Rosemary Duenez, 58, said at the news conference that she wanted to release the video after she realised police 'would never deliver us justice'.

'People need to see what happened,' she said, the Chronicle reported. 'They need to know what we see, and what we're fighting for.'

Manteca Police would not comment on the shooting due to the lawsuit. Moody has returned to active duty.

Original report here

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