SAN CLEMENTE (CBSLA) — The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has released new video of the fatal deputy shooting of 42-year-old Kurt Reinhold, a homeless man accused of jaywalking, last September in San Clemente.
“If this was a white man attempting to do or stand in a public space, the stop and the shooting would never have occurred,” John Taylor, the attorney for Reinhold’s family, said.
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The newly released video shows the moments leading up to the deadly shooting. The two deputies involved can be heard disagreeing over whether to stop Reinhold. One of the deputies can be heard telling the other, “Don’t make case law.”
“One officer says, ‘Well, there it is, he’s jaywalking,’ and the other officer says, ‘It’s controlled,’ meaning he’s crossing legally where he should,” Taylor said.
Once the deputies get out of their patrol car, the dash cam audio can no longer be heard, but security cameras and witness cell phone video show Reinhold repeatedly asking why he was being stopped.
As the deputies took Reinhold to the ground, one of them yelled, “He’s got my gun.”
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According to the department, the video shows Reinhold reaching for the gun. But Taylor said Reinhold grazed the deputy’s weapon as he was trying to push the deputy away.
Sheriff Don Barnes released a statement that said:
“Every time a law enforcement contact escalates to the use of deadly force, it is tragic for the family, the deputies and the community. We are releasing this critical incident video to be transparent, and must reserve judgement until the Orange County District Attorney’s Office completes their investigation.”
The Sept. 23 shooting sparked protests the following morning, which led to several arrests.
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Reinhold’s family has filed suit against Orange County, alleging that deputies violated his Fourth and 14th Amendment rights and were guilty of negligence. The deputies, though reassigned, have returned to duty.