Footage was released recently of a police officer that gunned down a man in front of his own home back on June 18, 2011.
The victim, Ernesto Duenez Jr., was allegedly involved in a domestic dispute earlier that day.
Duenez was a gang member and had been arrested and imprisoned prior to this incident for drug possession, automobile theft and assault with a deadly weapon. Duenez was seen carrying a knife and had been known to carry a gun on him most of the time.
When Officer James Moody received the call that Duenez was heading to a friend’s house, Moody waited for him outside said house and rushed in as soon as Duenez and his friend pulled into the driveway. Moody exited his vehicle, demanding that Duenez come out with his hands up, warning that he will shoot Duenez if he did not comply.
Ernesto exited the vehicle and it is not quite clear from the video what Duenez is doing, but it does seem like he is reaching for something or trying to escape. Moody opened fire, unloading 13 rounds in 4.2 seconds, 11 that hit Duenez, killing him. Duenez’s wife came running out sobbing and screaming at the police. When more police arrived, they released that Duenez’s foot was caught in the seatbelt, which was probably the reason for him moving widely when he got out of his vehicle.
In July, Duenez’s family along with John Burris, an Oakland attorney, filed a wrongful death federal lawsuit against Officer Moody and Manteca Police after studying the dashcam from Moody’s patrol car. Burris stated that the video does not show any blade in the victim’s hands and:
‘He made no aggressive movements toward the officer.’ Burris continued, ’We have communicated to the Department of Justice that this man should be prosecuted for murder … He should be held accountable just like anyone else would be held accountable when they engage in this kind of barbaric conduct.’
Officers did find an 8 inch knife with a 4 inch blade in the bed of his truck after the shooting. It is not clear as to how the knife would have ended up there if Duenez was holding it when he exited the vehicle and if so, how it wasn’t caught on the dashcam.
Moody has returned to active duty, but Burris and Duenez’s family are still seeking justice for the death of Ernesto.
Be warned, the footage below is very graphic.
How do you guys feel about this situation and who do you feel is at fault?