More trigger happy cops…
Newly-released footage undermines Fresno police’s claims regarding the shooting death of a 40-year-old mentally-ill man last September.
According to the Fresno Bee, the video captures the moments leading up to the shooting of Freddy Centeno by Officers Felipe Miguel Lucero and Zebulon Price.
The footage, taken from the officers’ body cameras, shows them approach Centeno and yell, “Get on the ground” for three seconds before opening fire from about 15 feet away. The officers shot nine times at Centeno, seven of which connected. Centeno is seen falling to the ground, at which point the officers order him to put his hands up.
The victim fell into a coma and died three weeks after the incident, which prompted local protests. Deputy Chief Robert Nevarez said at the time that “Officers commanded [Centeno] to raise his hands, and he grabbed for the object in his right front pocket and raised it towards them,” but that claim is not corroborated by the footage, as Centeno’s hands remained close to his side.
The object, which police believed to be a gun, was in fact a garden hose nozzle.
The Bee also reported that the two officers were not made aware of the fact that Centeno, who lived with family members at the time of his death, had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They were responding to a resident’s report that a shirtless man identified himself as a federal agent and threatened her with a gun.
The family subsequently sued the department, but did not ask for a specific damages account, and is instead asking jurors to determine an award for damages on their own. The video was released on Thursday by attorneys for Centeno’s relatives.
“I’ve been a civil rights attorney for 29 years, and I’ve never seen a police shooting this bad,” said one of the attorneys, Humberto Guizar.
I used to do this years ago at a competitive level. In those days we had “good guy” and “Bad guy targets. The first of which you don’t shoot. I also had a couple of opportunities to shot on “Police” training ranges, where there are good and bad guy targets which pop up and you have to make a split second decision to shoot or not to shoot. They would occasionally pop up a group with a woman holding a baby, and 2 or 4 bad guys surrounding her. The first guy up on the video is Jerry Miculek, who out and out is the best in the world on pistol. He shoots exclusively for Smith and Wesson, which makes very accurate revolvers. I don’t know if they train the city and local police like that anymore…
The guys above popping off shots like that killing Centeno…Indicate not.