Witnesses Accuse Houston Police Of Responding To Call By Killing The Alleged Unarmed Victim And Seizing His Friend’s Camera

Witnesses in Houston are contradicting police accounts of the fatal shooting of Rufino Lara. Officer J. McGowan arrived at the scene after reportedly being called by friends of Lara who said that he was being chased by men with a knife (he does not speak English). The friends of Lara insist that when McGowen arrived she told Lara to put his hand in the air and then shot the unarmed man. A friend started to film the scene as McGown allegedly ripped open his shirt in search of a weapon until McGown seized the camera and said that she is not allowed to film police officers.

Police insist that Lara did not obey McGowan’s commands in Spanish and English to stop and kept one of his hands tucked under his shirt. When he turned around suddenly with his hand still under his shirt, McGowan shot him once, killing him, according to the officer. That should be easy to confirm since the bullet entry wounds would be different if a man has his hands up or has his hands tucked in his shirt. The sharp contrast in the accounts of witnesses and police is highly disturbing. Someone is lying.

A family friend says the officer is lying. Florida Ruvio says that she ran into Lara who told her that he was being chased by some men with a knife. She says that he asked her to call the police. She says that police only spoke in English and that Lara eventually stopped and put his hands on the wall with his back to the officers. Another witness insists that he also saw Lara with both hands on the wall. Ruvio says that Lara turned around suddenly and was shot by the officer. Ruvio says that she screamed that McGowan just killed an innocent man but the officer said that she had fired because “he had drawn out a gun.”

Putting aside the dispute over the shooting, the actions taken with regard to the camera are all too familiar. Despite repeated court rulings that citizens have the right to film officers, both police and prosecutors continue to maintain that such filming can result in arrest and prosecution. The problem is so significant that the ACLU has created an App to allow citizens to use their cellphones to record police without being detected.

Lara only has two minor misdemeanors on his record – trespassing and giving false information to a police officer.

This case is particularly severe because, if the witnesses are telling the truth, multiple officers lied to cover up the shooting. The fact that the suspect turned around quickly does not meet the standard for the use of lethal force. Even if the officer’s account is confirmed, it is still unclear why lethal force was used if she did not actually see a weapon. A grand jury will hear the evidence of the shooting as a standard procedure in Houston.

Source: Chronicle

17 thoughts on “Witnesses Accuse Houston Police Of Responding To Call By Killing The Alleged Unarmed Victim And Seizing His Friend’s Camera

  1. Malisha, yeah, right. Let me get this straight. Some guy says he’s being chased by another guy with a knife, call the cops. The cops come and KILL HIM??? Why are they treating him like a criminal to begin with? If these donut eaters are so afraid, they should quit. We’d all be better off without them.

  2. The officer could have been afraid for her life and she could have been standing her ground. I’m just sayin…

  3. George Zimmerman would have fit right in with the current state of the police departments and their trigger fingers, denial of the truth and urge to assault.

  4. This officer and any officer who lied under oath deserve to be prosecuted. If we do not rein in rogue LEO’s, all hell will break loose.

  5. I have also sat in the Colliseum in Rome.
    And I only watched the circus. Just as the invited nobles did whom Nero had invited to his garden party.
    The scene, besides the fires of Rome burning, was lit by entorched christians.

    Who share the blame.
    2000 years and still no betterment.

    The FF made the world’s first “secular Replublic” according to Christopher Hitchens.
    But our rule by tyrants and their cronies is unimpeded.
    And the return of theocrats is seen on the near horizon.

    The simple fact is that the government, representing the people, is just like the first Indian emperor, and all others thereafter, is dependent on those who fill its coffers.

    In our situation of improductive wars, it is the corporations who fill them. And what are they but tyrannies. (improductive, ie we can’t bear home the oil, it is on need delivery at dictated prices that is reality.)
    Openly so, ruled by an undisclosed, unless over a certain percent, ownership.

    Only the rule of contract is respected in that arena, and then it is he who has the most money for lawyers who wins. See RCA vs Armstrong.

    An our social contracts with our rulers are never followed to the letter nor the spirit.

    So why are we surprised or disappointed at the results of our republic?

  6. Where is the camera and the evidence within the camera? They destroyed the evidence? Where is the lie detector test given the officer? The witnesses should find someone qualified in another state to give lie detector tests. Put the results in the newspaper. That crap about the position of the arms when shot is BS (meaning a certain kind of crap and not dog crap).

  7. I suspect, but have no proof, that killing people erroneously, or by purpose has been common procedure all over the world forever. That doesn’t palliate the disgust I feel at each new incident. That thses instances are documented and discussed here, keeps them from being swept under the rug and is why I keep coming back.

  8. For me to learn from Wiki about the structure of the US Judicial system is not yet done.

    But, perhaps others without that knowledge ask themselves, as I do, at what point do legal rulings in one Federal Circuit become the force of law in what jurisdiction? And thus (theoretically?) restrain the actions and prosecutions available to LEO?

    Now it seems to be the law enforcement and the prosecutorial parts being hindered in their exercise.

    The judgements in favor of recorders have been given as high as Circuit Court of Appeals, accdg to JT, see link. But other judges, noted by JT, Posner and ev. others in spe are of the same opinion as Posner

    How can such a battle play out? State by state? Circuit by circuit.? SCOTUS decree? New federal laws from Congress.

    And what process is needed and forced by law to be done to change LEO/prosecutorial procedures in accordance with the rulings? Does each and every state law, and every city ordinance have to be challenged and appealed before change is made in that jurisdiction?

    A nation of law, but who owns it and uses? An obviously tendentious question.

    Perhaps the previous questions have merit.

    I am reminded of a saying, perhaps from a movie:
    “The king is king in his palace, and that is far from here.

    Does that apply to judges and their judgements as well?

  9. I have a question for the readership: does anyone know of any studies concerning the fact that female police officers to fire their weapons significantly more than their male counterparts? If you do please reply to this comment. Thank you.

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