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Orange County Sheriff officials on Wednesday released a video as part of the investigation into the fatal shooting of homeless outreach deputies on a black man they accused of jaywalking in San Clemente’s last year.
The outing includes a dash cam, cell phone, and motel surveillance video that captures the ordeal that unfolds from the time MPs contacted Kurt Andras Reinhold, 42, on the sidewalk, to the ensuing fight and the shooting death of Reinhold.
No body camera video was shown.
The September 23 shooting, in the wake of national unrest over police violence, sparked protests that led the city of San Clemente to declare a curfew in some areas.
The two deputies involved, an eight-year veteran and a 13-year veteran, are full-time homeless liaison officers in San Clemente. Their tasks are to help people living on the streets and to help them access resources and services. OC sheriff officials did not release their names.
The incident began when MPs observed Reinhold near the corner of El Camino Real and Avenida San Gabriel as they sat in their patrol car across the street.
“Look at this, he’s going for a walk,” one of them can be heard saying on the dashcam footage.
MPs then debate whether he walks, one saying to the other: “Don’t make a case law. “
MPs then stop towards Reinhold, who is standing on the sidewalk. After that, the MPs and Reinhold disappear from view of the camera, but their voices are still audible.
“Are you going to stop or are we going to have to get you arrested?” One of the deputies asks Reinhold several times.
Reinhold is heard asking, “For what?” The deputy tells him to walk on the rails.
“What are you talking about? I’m walking,” Reinhold replies, then yells at the deputies to get off him.
An argument ensues. Reinhold says he doesn’t understand why he is being arrested and repeatedly asks MPs to stop touching him.
A deputy tells him he is resisting arrest for jaywalking. “It’s ridiculous,” Reinhold says.
The sound of MPs’ microphones becomes unintelligible as the three move away from the patrol vehicle.
Video from a spectator’s cell phone captured the group continuing to argue as Reinhold attempted to walk away from the MPs.
An assistant begins to push Reinhold, and the two assistants soon tackle him to the ground. Sgt. Dennis Breckner said in the video that MPs were trying to “take control of him”.
Motel security video – which was previously obtained by KTLA – captured the ensuing fight, in which an MP is heard in the video saying, “He’s got my gun,” according to the sheriff’s department.
The other assistant opens fire a few moments later. Two gunshots heard, one about seven seconds after the other.
Sheriff’s investigators previously released a still image of footage that appears to show Reinhold’s hand near or on a deputy’s holster as he and the deputies struggled on the ground.
But MPs said it was not clear if Reinhold was able to draw the weapon. This remains under investigation by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
The sheriff’s department had previously noted the shooting occurred about three minutes after MPs made contact with the man.
Reinhold’s family, who filed a wrongful death complaint in the case in December, released a statement through their lawyers on Wednesday saying the new video “confirms what we knew from the start – the MPs involved had no reason to arrest Mr. Reinhold “.
“The OC Sheriff’s Homeless Liaison Officers are using pretexts to arrest someone for any reason, just to harass the person,” wrote attorney John C. Taylor. “These officers created and escalated the confrontation with Kurt Reinhold causing his death.”
The shooting is still under investigation, with the prosecutor’s office yet to determine whether it believes the shooting was justified.
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