By Josey Wales
Salinas, California: Local police officers claim they had to use lethal force on a man when he didn’t obey their direct orders and then tried to attack them.
However this video, filmed by an eyewitness, shows that the man tried to back away from officers when he was fatally shot to death.
A local newspaper, the Monterey Herald, reported on Wednesday that Salinas residents were responding angrily to the previous day’s incident in light of video footage published online showing local law enforcement officials firing the fatal shots at the man from point-blank range. The victim was not immediately identified by police.
According to the Herald, cops were alerted of an attempted break-in on Tuesday afternoon after a female caller told 911 that a man was not just trying to enter her home, but was trying to kill her dog and had exposed himself.
When police arrived and found the man on an adjacent street carrying a pair of gardening shears, the incident quickly escalated. The Herald quoted Salinas police Cmdr. Vince Maiorana as saying that the man was initially unresponsive when police tried to approach him about the alleged attempted break-in, then began to act strangely.
“Officers end up talking to this individual, trying to find out what he’s doing and what the situation was based upon the original 911 call,” Maiorana said. “This individual started to wave the gardening shears at the officers. We tried to deploy a Taser; the Taser did not work and as the officers tried to detain this individual, this individual pulled the gardening shears and actually attacked the officers with the gardening shears.
“In response, the officers, fearing for their personal safety, shot this individual and he is now deceased.”
The cell phone video footage obtained by the paper clearly shows that two officers with guns drawn and only a few feet away from the man fired four or five shots in broad daylight.
Christopher Dolan, a noted civil right attorney, told KSBW that the killing of his client “appears to be an excessive use of force resulting in a senseless killing.”
“This is what is commonly referred to as a homicide,” Dolan said. “The police state that they killed Mr. Hernandez for having a knife, not for actually threatening them with harm. Mr. Hernandez didn’t even have a weapon in his hand when he was gunned down.The police, given the ultimate power by us, the citizens, owe each of us a duty to use only the minimum amount of force necessary. Officers are trained how to disarm a suspect and it’s not by shooting them in the head over and over! This family deserves real answers so we will have private investigators speak with the witnesses, have Osman’s body transferred to a private pathologist for analysis of the bullet trajectories, gunshot residue, and we will retain nationally renowned use of force experts to analyze the officers’ conduct. It’s in times like these when the police have killed someone that we need to be most vigilant as to protect ourselves from those entrusted to protect us.”
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