A group of students in Vallejo, Calif. were shooting a music video last year when police officers received a call from a nearby shopowner and showed up on the set. Although the witness details of what occurred after vary, the director of the video, 34-year-old Guy J. Jarreau, was ultimately shot and killed by Kent Tribble, one of the officers that had arrived to investigate the incident.
The victim’s mother Andrea Jarreau-Griffin subsequently filed suit in Sacremento’s federal court against the Tribble, charging him with two counts of excessive force as well as other civil rights violations. In response to the lawsuit, the defendants immediately filed for the dismissal of several of the charges. After a review by a federal judge, the defendents have apparently succeeded in several of their requests.
According to the Court House News, “U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller dismissed the excessive force claim predicated on the Fourteenth Amendment,” claiming instead that the officer should be charged under the scope of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment instead. Mueller also dismissed the allegations against the City of Vallejo filed by Jarreau-Griffin, which claimed that the city had “failed to properly train Tribble and other officers in the use of deadly force." In the instance of the latter charge, Mueller claimed the allegations were "insufficient to support a claim."
According to Jarreau-Griffin's account, her son was helping a group of students film a music video when the officers ordered the group to disperse from their filming site. The students allegedly attempted to comply but Jarreau was “blocked off by an unmarked police car.” Officer Tribble, who was dressed in plain clothes at the time, fired at Jarreau after the student raised his hands in the air. In one of his hands, he was allegedly holding a green cup, although various accounts claim that he was wielding a gun.
According to KTVU, officers had arrived at the scene after “a man told the police dispatcher that a group of about 15 young men were in front of his tattoo shop” and “videotaping something.” The 911 caller claimed that he had seen one of the men flash a gun at him.
Both vigils and protests have been held in Jarreau's honor in the months after the incident, and all involved are hoping to gain some justice for the man's death. Although there were no witnesses of the shooting and several charges were dismissed, Officer Tribble still faces one count of use of excessive force.