An Arizona deputy shot and killed a man claiming he was reaching for a gun, but a cell phone video shows the man had raised his hands in the air.
However, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu insists the man should have been killed much earlier because he wasn’t complying with their orders.
But obviously Babeu is trying to spin the story after the cell phone video contradicted their earlier rendition of the facts.
A witness shot the video on a cell phone. It shows the final moments of the standoff, when deputies were ordering Manuel Longoria to surrender. The deputies had their weapons drawn and fired five bean bag rounds at the suspect, in addition to Taser rounds.
Longoria appeared to be moving his arms around, and did not appear to be cooperating with the deputies. Seconds later, the video shows Longoria turn his back on the deputies and raise both hands into the air, high over his head. One second later, a lone deputy fired two shots, killing Longoria.
A statement issued on the day of the shooting read:
“Officers and deputies attempted to use less lethal means to take him into custody including firing several bean bag rounds and Taser deployments. The suspect refused to obey the commands and suddenly reached back into the vehicle. A deputy felt the suspect was reaching for the gun he reportedly had, so he then fired two rounds.”
The statement does not mention the fact that Longoria had his hands above his head when he was shot. Witnesses told CBS 5 Investigates they heard Longoria say he had a gun and would not be taken into custody alive. But after the shooting, investigators found no weapon.
“I believe even looking at it in those circumstances, if I was a patrol officer and I was forced in that same situation, I would likely have shot him before that deputy shot him,” said Sheriff Paul Babeu, who spoke to CBS 5 Investigates via satellite from Washington, DC, where he was attending a conference.
But the video was so revealing that even a former cop said the deputy was out of line.
But a former DPS and Scottsdale Police Officer Jess Torrez disagreed after viewing the video.
“You have multiple police officers on the scene and only one person makes the shot. That tells me that other officers at the scene did not feel there was justification to use deadly physical force,” said Torrez.
Torrez said despite Longoria’s behavior during the chase and initial part of the standoff, the only actions that were central to a decision to shoot, occurred right before the deputy opened fire.
“Officers are taught to look at the hands first and foremost. So if his hands are up in the air, he doesn’t have anything in them. How do they justify using deadly force?” asked Torrez