Attorneys representing the family of Ernest Duenez Jr. on Wednesday released dash cam video of a fatal police shooting, in which the 34-year-old man was shot to death by police.
Police in Manteca, California had attempted to arrest Duenez last year for violating his parole. Duenez, who was considered armed and dangerous, was shot eleven times after exiting a pick-up truck that had pulled up to his home. Officer John Moody said Duenez advanced towards him armed with a knife, despite orders not to move.
Oakland civil rights attorney John Burris, who represented the family of Oscar Grant in another high-profile police shooting case, claims that Duenez was unarmed and had caught his foot in a seatbeat shortly before being shot. The dash cam video appears to confirm that Duenez was tangled in his seatbeat, but whether he was armed remains unclear.
"We have communicated to the Department of Justice that this man [Officer John Moody] should be prosecuted for murder," Burris said.
"From our point of view this officer has been fully protected by numerous law enforcement communities. The Police Department ratified this conduct on the very first day as justifiable and the District Attorney’s office has come back as well and justified this conduct and retained an expert that raises real questions about his integrity and his independence in making certain assumptions."
The dash cam video was released after the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office concluded that Moody was legally justified in using lethal force (PDF).
Duenez had previously been convicted of burglary, statutory rape, possession of controlled substances, felony evading arrest, vehicle theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, assault with a deadly weapon and gang membership.
Watch a clip from the dash cam video, uploaded to YouTube, below:
(WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO)