A California officer has been accused of shooting and killing Hans Kevin Arellano, 22, (left) after a confrontation where the unarmed man called the officer a “bitch.” The shooting was captured on a cell phone video and the witness says that the shooting was unprovoked and unjustified.
The witness was in the parking lot of the Harbor Place Shopping Center in Santa Ana around 3 p.m. when the confrontation occurred in front of a juice shop. He said that he saw the officer exit from her patrol car with her gun drawn — a key point since officers are not supposed to draw their weapons absent a clear potential threat. The witness says that she told Arellano, who is described as homeless, to get on the ground and that he responded “What are you gonna do, bitch?” The witness says that the officer shot Arellano just a second or so after the comment.
Police confirm that the 13-year veteran was responding as back up to officers responding to a criminal activity call. While she was carrying a taser, she drew her gun instead.
Police say that they were unaware of the video and would study it.
Even without the video, there would seem to be ample reason for investigation when an unarmed man is shot and killed within minutes of the arrival of an officer. There are only a couple of possible defenses. One is that the man attacked the officer in contradiction to the account of the witness (who was standing at some distance way). Another is that the man appeared to reach for a weapon, though it would have to be shown how the encounter escalated so quickly. Finally, and this has happened, the officer could say that she confused the gun for her taser.
It is hard to believe that the officer went off simply because she was called a name. Officers face such crude remarks regularly. There appear to be no shortage of witnesses in the video, including two men close to the scene. We will be following the story to see if the officer’s account is published.
Source: Daily Mail
33 thoughts on “California Officer Shoots Unarmed Homeless Man”
While I agree that the video does not tell us enough, I can’t agree that just because this victim was wanted on a robbery beef, the officer should have drawn her gun immediately. What about the danger of firing the weapon into the restaurant? Doesn’t that raise a question on the concern for collateral damage? If there was no weapon drawn on the officer or a patron or worker at the restaurant, I do not understand how the officer could shoot at anyone in a restaurant. I hope the witnesses nearby saw enough to clear up the open questions.
Oscar Grant was killed by a gun allegedly pulled as a mistake, instead of the intended tazer.
There is not enough information to draw a conclusion here. Having only the same information that you all do I make a couple of observations.
The man who was shot reportedly was wanted for robbery. If it was for armed robbery that represents a more dangerous person to the officer. Taking down someone wanted for robbery involves much more risk than someone wanted for petty theft.
The person ran into a restaurant when the police approached. A suspect knowing he is wanted and having a propensity for violence presents a risk for a shooting in a restaurant or taking a hostage.
Given those two pieces of information I would say an officer drawing a firearm was reasonable. The Taser would not have been a good choice at that point.
There remains many questions still. Did the officers actually know this person shot was wanted for robbery before the shooting took place? Was the criminal activity such that drawing a firearm was reasonable? Did the suspect make threats to the officer such as appearing to draw a weapon (even if feigned)? Did the officer over-react?.
I do not believe this officer mistook the gun for a Taser, the mechanics of what happened do not point to htis. The newer model Tasers do not resemble pistols like the older M-26 did. Plus, exiting a patrol car while drawing a taser is rather an odd situation, the range is less than 25 feet and one has to at least get near the suspect before it is used.
I totally agree. I doubt I’d bow my head, but I have yet to be put in that situation, so I can’t speak on it. What I’m saying is, no matter the circumstance, me insulting you should never result in you exercising your power and killing me because you have a badge. I’d rather get punched or cuffed, but to kill someone? That’s something you can’t take back.
Correct – there are thousands of officers who do a good job. Most cops would not step out of their vehicles with gun drawn.
However, (just so you know how much of a choir you are speaking to) – in both of my events, the outcome was not as I desired.
After telling the officer to shoot, he holstered his gun, and thumped me in the chest with his flashlight. I took it out of his hands and threw it off the floor of the hotel we were upon and told him, either pull it again, get a warrant – or get the f— off.
He responded – “So, you want to flex muscles” – and then went downstairs, got on his radio, called for backup. I was saying my last rights figuring they were going to collective whip my arse or worse.
They threw everybody out of the top floor of the hotel harming the man who had rented the room to me for 2 years (and others for many more years).
The other incident was long ago. As a traveling salesman in a southern state, I pitched my wares and was ordered by an ole guy with kKK memorabilia on his wall – to my Yankee arse get out of his county. Went right down the street and sold everything in my vehicle to his competitor. A few miles out of town, counting the money I just made, a State Trooper pulled me over. He thumped me in my chest and called me boy. Upon my silence and piercing eyes, he said “I don’t like what your thinking” – then he pulled his gun, pointed it at my nose and said “you’ve got to the count of 3 to bow your head and say Yes Sir”.
In those nano-seconds I thought about crescent kicks, my gun in the trunk, the fact that I had been selling all over that area and left receipts everywhere. The last thing on my mind – was simply bowing my head and capitulating to his superior position.
But bow my head and said Yes Sir I did.
Have never forgotten what he looks like, his name, his badge #, his car number and/or any other thing of that day.
Still regret bowing my head and saying yes sir – to this very day…..
He begged for her not to tazer him.
“Don’t tazer me ho …”
Yeah, but the way it came across was like, “Welp, shoulda kept his mouth shut.” That’s a very scary attitude to have about this. Especially since I know not all cops fly off the handle like that.
Hassan – yes Really!
I’ve had guns put in my face by threatening officers before (my battles against corruption know NO boundaries).
In one instance I told the thug to shoot – and thought later – what if he had!
Hair triggers are – hair triggers…..
I’m just sayin……………
laserhass Really? I should think twice about getting flippant with a cop? Aren’t you supposed to, “Protect and Serve” not “Point and Shoot”? I’m not saying you should insult them, but the punishment shouldn’t be death.
It may be coincidence,
but in both cases cited (the story plus the link), the California police officer was female and the victim was a young in-your-face disorderly unarmed Hispanic male.
Also, a “Shoot First, Ask Questions Later” police policy is Sloppy Policing done on the Cheap. I wonder if other 1st world, industrialized countries have high number of police shootings as there seems to be in the U.S.A.
A good reporter, on the ground, will find out of there are other videos out there, from separate angles and more direct/clear in perspective/view.
One thing for sure, others who look upon this story;
will think twice about getting flippant to a cop with gun in hand.
There’s more to this than the video is revealing. She is a 13 year veteran and it is highly improbable that she snapped over reviling language.
Either the deceased did something more than just call names – or there are other mitigating factors here that we aren’t aware of.
I’m against abuse of Police authority and worked heavily in the Kelly Thomas case (just a few miles away in Fullerton California).
But I’m also against rushes to judgment.
And this case doesn’t make sense.
Is correct, I could see nothing on the video that could lead me to draw any conclusions. However, there are witnesses. It does need investigation because the report of “criminal activity” seems too amorphous for backup to arrive with guns drawn.
They’ll need much more than the video, it’s poor quality. Good witness statements and follow-up is needed. Ah, but there’s the rub. Who investigates the investigator/cop is always the issue.
And these are the ones we know of because they are reported….. Biatch…. Take that….…..
William – I have no idea what did or did not happen here, but FYI there have been instance where people under severe pressure have been unable to perform relatively simple tasks, e.g. an airline pilot in a crash situation who “forgot” how to unbuckle his seat belt. We would do better to let the investigations proceed before passing judgement about what happened and who is (or isnt) guilty.
And only 20 minutes from Fullerton. Imagine that.
Cursing while homeless is certainly a crime worthy of a street execution. If this went down remotely as described, this woman needs to be facing a homicide charge. Plain and simple.
It is not hard to believe that an officer went off just cause she was called a name. People have been assaulted by officers for much less. Simply not being “respectful enough” can get you arrested. I would dearly love to believe that there was more to this story but I would not be surprised if all it took was a name. I fear for the life and safety of the person who took the video.
O yea, that’s it, she forgot which side the teaser was on. Yea, a 13 year veteran forgot and not once noticed that she drew a gun because they weigh, look and feel almost the same. AH, sure, ok. A 13 year veteran, whom has logged how many hours of training with her side arm in13 years? Really? That would suggest that this officer has been incompliant for 13 years. Is that what they’re saying?.
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