There is a disturbing report out of San Bernardino County where Sheriff’s deputies claimed that they fired 13 rounds, wounding Keivon Young. Young, 18, had been mistaken for a murder suspect, Robert Pope, yet the police did not identify themselves. However, they said that Young was “sneaking through the people’s front yards and hiding behind bushes” and fired after he reached into his waistband and “withdrew two knives.” Young’s attorney says that police transcripts show that the knives were discovered after the shooting.
The police had staked out the home because Pope’s sister had once lived there.
Kevion Young was with his family around 9 p.m. in a garage when he went to the side of the house to relieve himself. He said that he was shot in the leg without any notice that the men where plain clothes police and said that the knives were in his waistband for protection. He said that he had dropped to the ground and was trying to put his hands on his head. One of the bullets penetrated the home filled with friends and family, including a baby. Other shots hit a nearby car and the home of a neighbor.
Stories reported that Young was shot brandishing the knives and sneaking around homes. That leaves a considerable gap in accounts.
The transcript would seem to support Young. The police case investigator found that after being confronted “The subject fell down to the ground. They moved in toward(s) him. At that point, he removed 2 large knives from his waistband.” However, the audio tape contains a garbled recording of an officer yelling “Let me see your (expletive) hands! ” and then immediate gunfire, without clear sheriff’s department identification. Young could be heard saying “I didn’t even know who you guys were, you ride up on me with flashlights. I didn’t know nothing.” He is heard crying for help and asking if he is going to jail. Then the statement is reportedly heard on the tape. An officer says “Probably not. I don’t know, dude. You didn’t assault us, right? But you have to understand when we are cops and we are coming up on you . . . “
Of course, the police can say that this officer was not the one who saw Young pull out the knives.
What is also suspicious is that Young was arrested on two counts of assaulting a peace officer. However, those charges were later changed to two felony counts of resisting arrest and one felony count for possession of dirk or dagger. It is extremely rare for charges to be reduced in a case of an assault on an officer when there are witnesses to the alleged crimes.
Four months after the shooting, Young remains in jail.
Kudos: Michael Blott