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Video Contradicts Police Who Shot Unarmed Man with Hands in Air

A video of a police shooting on January 14 has surfaced and contradicts law enforcement authorities in Pinal County, Ariz.

The video begins with police stopping and surrounding Manuel Longoria's car. After he gets out of the car, Longoria puts his hands in the air for several seconds, but appears to move towards the open door on the driver's side (video below).

That's when one unidentified deputy opens fire and Longoria falls to the ground; screams of bystanders can be heard.

According to Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, Longoria was shot and killed after supposedly reaching for a gun. However, Longoria had his arms in the air when he was shot, notes the Phoenix New Times.

Longoria allegedly stole a car, but after a 40 minute chase, he crashed into a police car and got out of his car.

Before the video was released, the Pinal County Sheriff Office stated, "Officers and deputies attempted to use less-lethal means to take him into custody including firing several beanbag rounds and Taser deployments. The suspect refused to obey commands and suddenly reached back into the vehicle. A deputy felt the suspect was reaching for the gun he reportedly had, so he then fired two rounds from his department issued patrol rifle."

A witness filmed the incident and turned the video over to KPHO, which reported there is no mention in the police report of Longoria turning his back on police and raising both hands.

After the shooting, no weapon was found on Longoria or in his car.

"I believe even looking at it in those circumstances, if I was a patrol officer and I was forced in that same situation, I would likely have shot him before that deputy shot him," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu told KPHO.

"This suspect sadly and regrettably when given every opportunity to surrender and to comply and obey our commands, decided not to," added Sheriff Babeu.

However, former Scottsdale Police Officer Jess Torrez watched the video and told KPHO, "You have multiple police officers on the scene and only one person makes the shot. That tells me that other officers at the scene did not feel there was justification to use deadly physical force."

"Officers are taught to look at the hands first and foremost. So if his hands are up in the air, he doesn't have anything in them. How do they justify using deadly force?" asked Torrez.

Sources: Phoenix New Times and KPHO



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