The footage shared by Carrazco’s Tustin-based law firm has been enhanced, slowed down in key spots and transcribed.
When Noel Aguilar was shot and killed by two officers in Long Beach, California, in May 2014, the police initially reported that Aguilar had shot Officer Albert Murad before Murad and his partner Jose Ruiz shot and killed Aguilar.
The deputies claimed Aguilar, who authorities tried to blame for the incident, shot one of them in the stomach, but officials revealed that the deputy’s gun wound came from his partner’s gun. “The other three shots from the back, every single one of those is unjustified”.
Aguilar’s family has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the sheriff’s department. Guizar said the video was never given to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
“We believe the video is clear evidence of an execution, a murder”, Guizar said told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “We want the public to see it”.
The video, which was put out as part of the suit against the sheriff’s department, shows the deputies struggling with Aguilar on the ground, trying to handcuff him.
Cellphone footage then shows the two deputies grappling with the suspect on the ground before one warns the young man that if he moves, ‘I’m going to kill you’.
Ruiz shoots him in the stomach, prompting Murade, who is already angry at having been shot, to fire three bullets into Aguilar’s back. When deputies caught up to Aguilar, they tried to arrest him. Before the end of the video, Aguilar is heard saying “I’m dying”.
The first police officer Ruiz then pulls his gun back out and points it at Aguilar.
Officer Murade’s decision to fire three shots into Aguilar from behind after Aguilar struggled with Ruiz for control of his gun seems reasonable from my perspective, especially as he seemed to think that Aguilar was armed at the time.
The department’s Internal Affairs Bureau has now completed its investigation into the shooting. The committee ultimately decides whether there are any policy, tactical, supervisory or training violations. Ruiz still seems convinced that Aguilar has a gun as other officers arrive, and says “check him, check him” nearly seven minutes into the incident before finally allowing other officers swarming the scene to take over.
“We welcome any additional video evidence that individuals may have”, it said. Both deputies have since returned to duty, but the death remains under investigation.