Judge Releases Videos of Police Shooting Unarmed Men

Originally published on July 16, 2015, at NationofChange.org

After remaining sealed for over two years, the videos of police officers shooting two unarmed innocent men were released to the public by a U.S. district judge on Tuesday. Although several law enforcement organizations fought to keep the footage suppressed, U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson decided to release the videos in favor of the public’s interest. After watching the videos, the families of the victims have called on the Department of Justice to investigate the Gardena Police Department.

At 2:30 a.m. on June 2, 2013, Sgt. Christopher Cuff responded to a 911 call regarding a possible robbery. Although the caller had simply reported a stolen bicycle, the dispatcher misinterpreted the theft report as a robbery with unknown weapons involved. Observing two men riding in front of a Carrows restaurant, Sgt. Cuff mistook them as thieves and ordered them to stop.

After encountering the police sergeant, Eutiquio Acevedo Mendez and Garcia Jose Amado put their hands in the air while attempting to explain to the officer that they were helping their friend look for his stolen bike. Although Sgt. Cuff had been wearing his audio recorder at the time, he did not turn it on because he later claimed that activating the device would have distracted him.

Continue reading

Police Barring Release of Videos Showing Cops Killing Unarmed Innocent Man

Proceed with...

Originally published on June 30, 2015, at NationofChange.org

Several law enforcement organizations filed court documents last week seeking to suppress videos that recorded officers killing an unarmed innocent man and shooting his friend in the back. Attorneys for the police believe the officers should not be held accountable for their mistake and are fighting to bar the release of the videos. Although the district attorney claims that the victim appeared to be reaching for a weapon, multiple witnesses and an attorney for the victims’ families, who watched the videos, contradict the official narrative.

After his shift at a local restaurant ended on the evening of June 1, 2013, Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino joined his friends and his brother at Mis Amigos Bar in Gardena, California. Sometime after midnight, Diaz-Zeferino’s brother, Augustin de Jesus Reynoso, walked across the street with his bicycle to buy a lottery ticket at a CVS store. As he exited the CVS, Reynoso realized that his bike had been stolen.

A CVS employee called 911 reporting that Reynoso’s bicycle had been stolen. Although the caller told the dispatcher that he didn’t think the thief was armed, the 911 dispatcher did not relate this information to the officers responding to the theft. According to Gardena police Lt. Steve Prendergast, the theft report was misinterpreted as a robbery with unknown weapons involved.

Continue reading