Deputy Executes Jaywalker Face-Down on Pavement (Video Released)

Lynwood, Los Angeles, CA - It was about 1:45 a.m. on October 10, 2010 when LA County Sheriff's Deputy Julio Jove spotted a group of young men jaywalking across Long Beach Boulevard.The young men were on their way to a party, and had just left a liquor store with beer and snacks. The Deputy spun into action and attempted to cite the group for their pedestrian infraction.

What happened next, is disputed.

According to the incident report on file, 20-year old Jonathan Cuevas pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it at the deputy, who then opened fire on the suspect, killing him. The family of the young man who was killed began immediately to suspect that something was very wrong, when the story they were given by homicide detectives was "totally opposite" of what they were being told by residents and shopkeepers in the area.

The shooting was ruled to be justified by internal investigators with oversight from the Office of Independent Review, the Homicide Bureau, and the District Attorney. That might have been the end of the story, if it had not been for this surveillance video made public just this past Friday. The recording is now the centerpiece of a wrongful-death lawsuit by the family of the man who was killed. Alarmingly, the video appears to depict a cold-blooded execution, rather than supporting the official version of events.

A spokespman for the LA County Sheriff's Department states, "This video that was shown today is a partial, small part of this story. It is by no means telling the whole story."

Indeed, what the video doesn't tell us is that key details of the internal investigation are missing. Namely, the weapon that Cuevas allegedly pointed at the deputy. It has not been made available to the family's attorney, who states that it is "nowhere to be found." Even the official investigation concluded that there were no fingerprints on the weapon, which could be used to implicate the suspect and corroborate the account of the deputy. Furthermore, the deputy described a silver handgun, but a photo of the weapon allegedly pulled out shows a black revolver with a wooden handle. There is also no explanation as to why the suspect did not fire the weapon, alleged to be in his hand, at the Deputy.

(Use of a drop-gun is not an unreasonable speculation. The practice of planting an untraceable weapon in order to justify a shooting is not new, has been reported among soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in hearings regarding the notoriously corrupt Rampart Division of the LAPD.)

What you will see here in this video, cannot be disputed. The police cruiser comes to a sudden stop at the curb, just ahead of the group of suspects. As the deputy emerges from the vehicle, one man runs away, with his back to the deputy. The deputy then draws his weapon and opens fire, striking the man several times in the back. The suspect topples and skids head-first on the sidewalk. The officer runs up and delivers one final "execution" or "coup-de-grac" style shot into the suspect. There is no suspect-weapon apparent in the video, particularly at the moment of the "kill shot."

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