VIDEO: Deputy Shoots Fleeing Jaywalker Multiple Times In Back, Executes Him With "A Coup de Grace Kill Shot"

Chris | InformationLiberation
Sep. 17, 2012

A deputy intent on citing a group of men for jaywalking shot a suspect who fled the scene in the back multiple times, then stood over him and executed him with what his family's lawyer described as "a coup de grace kill shot."

The deputy claimed in his incident report the alleged jaywalker pulled a gun on him and pointed it at him, yet newly released surveillance video appears to contradict his report as it shows the man fleeing from the deputy almost immediately, additionally he never took one shot, and ABC News reports the man's family says the weapon found on their son did not contain his fingerprints. (See this video on the routine practice of "drop weapons.")

KPCC reports:
The family of a 20-year old man a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed two years ago says surveillance video released a few weeks ago but made public Friday shows a different story of what happened.

Jonathan Cuevas was out late in Lynwood on October 10, 2010 with two friends walking to a house party. They stopped at a liquor store on Long Beach Boulevard to buy beer and snacks. The group of men jaywalked across the street around 1:45 a.m. when a deputy patrol car pulled up to cite them for an alleged pedestrian violation.

The video, which has no sound, shows the deputy getting out of his car as Cuevas takes off running. The deputy shoots at Cuevas, who falls a few steps later at the corner of Josephine Street and Long Beach Boulevard.

“One, two, three four, five…he stands…six, he stands over them…seventh shot,” said the family’s attorney James Segall Gutierrez as he counted the deputy’s shots in the surveillance video he played for reporters Friday.

Four bullets hit Cuevas. He died later at a hospital.

“There were no reports at all that night that they were looking for somebody with Jonathan’s description. There were no reports that Jonathan was being violent in any matter,” Gutierrez said.

A Sheriff’s department incident report says the deputy involved, Julio Jove, says he saw Cuevas pull a handgun from his waistband and point it at him. But Cuevas' relatives maintain that the surveillance video doesn’t show that.

“It doesn’t show that he makes a threat to the officer. He’s running. He gets shot in the back and he falls down and the officer stands over him and continues to shoot him,” said Mayra Murrillo, Cuevas’s fiancé and mother of their four-year-old son.

Cuevas’ mother Alicia Alvarez said she began asking neighbors and business workers who witnessed the shooting after it happened.

“Something told me in my heart that something was very wrong because it was totally opposite of what the Sheriff’s homicide [detectives] told us,” Alvarez said.

Steve Whitmore, spokesperson for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, called the shooting tragic. But said that internal investigators, with oversight from the Office of Independent Review, declared the shooting justifiable.

“This video that was shown today is partial, small part of this story. It is by no means telling the whole story,” he said.
I'd say the story the video shows is clear, the deputy pulls some men over for the "crime" of jaywalking, one of the suspected jaywalkers flees from the deputy immediately, at which point the deputy chases him down and shoots him in the back multiple times, before finally walking over to him and executing him at close range.

According to the deputy, the man allegedly pulled his gun on the deputy and aimed it at him, then rather than shoot him, chose to run away, and he did this all this over an alleged jaywalking violation.

If the deputy thought the man was such a threat, why did he chase him down and shoot him as he fled?

Why didn't the suspect shoot "his" alleged gun even once?

Why were his fingerprints allegedly not found on his gun?

A few days ago we reported on a similar story out of Prince George's County, Maryland where a police officer claimed he was assaulted by a teen, yet the video showed it was the cop who assaulted the teen, he simply lied about what occurred on his police report. In this case, the deputy's only claim to justify this shooting was the man supposedly pulling a gun on him before running away and not shooting, this video strongly appears to contradict that report.

[Correction: The deputy shot at the fleeing man's back six times, and shot at him seven times total, but he only hit him four times. This article was updated September 18th to correct this error.]
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