Homelessness can come with its fare share of downsides, primarily being the lack of security that results from not having a steady place to sleep or access to basic utilities for proper bathing needs.
Another issue vagrants face that often gets ignored is their humanity being stripped, as we saw not too long ago when a Miami real estate agent was arrested for unprovoked shootings of homeless men. A similar situation recently happened in California as well, only this time the gunman walked free because he was a cop.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office ruled that a San Clemente police officer’s actions were valid after shooting a homeless Black man originally stopped for jaywalking. The Mercury News reports that Deputy Eduardo Duran was cleared of all criminal wrongdoing following the Sept. 23, 2020 killing of 42-year-old Kurt Andreas Reinhold. The year-and-a-half-long investigation ended after authorities upheld Duran’s claim that Reinhold reached for his partner’s gun in the midst of a struggle after they approached him for questioning.
Read the full sequence of events below, via Mercury News:
“Duran and his partner, Deputy Jonathan Israel, were both homeless liaison officers. According to video from their police vehicle, Israel, just before 1:15 p.m., spotted Reinhold walking toward an intersection in the 2200 block of South El Camino Real, telling his partner, ‘Watch this, this is a jaywalk’ moments before Reinhold walked across the street.
That video does not show any moving vehicle in or near the intersection when Reinhold enters it.
As Israel drove toward Reinhold, Duran can be heard cautioning, ‘Don’t make case law, Gabriel,’ a comment he later explained to investigators by saying he didn’t see Reinhold’s actions at the intersection and wanted to make sure Israel had probable cause to stop Reinhold.”
One of the deputies can be heard on the dashboard video initially asking Reinhold, ‘What’s going on, man? How are you doing? Where are you going?’
‘You going to stop, or do we have to make you stop?’ Israel is heard telling Reinhold.
‘For what? I’m walking,’ Reinhold replies.
‘For jaywalking’ Israel says.
‘What are you talking about? I’m walking,’ Reinhold is heard telling the deputy.
A bystander began filming the encounter, as the deputies repeatedly told Reinhold to stop and he repeatedly told them to stop touching him, at one point saying, ‘Get off me, I did nothing wrong.’ After several minutes, Deputy Duran is seen grabbing Reinhold by his backpack and taking him to the ground.
According to the DA’s Office letter, Reinhold grabbed Israel and landed on top of him. During the ensuing struggle, Israel told investigators that he felt his gun belt being pulled and the rattling of his gun in its holster, followed by what he believed to be Reinhold getting a grip on the pistol and pulling it.
‘He’s got my gun!’ Israel can be heard yelling multiple times in the bystander video, followed by a gunshot, a pause, and a second gunshot. Reinhold was struck twice in his upper torso, according to the letter.”
Making matters worse, it was revealed that Reinhold wasn’t even jaywalking, only crossing an intersection against a red light which they said gave deputies the right to question him. The slain man’s family rightfully fought back against that claim, noting in a public statement, “This conclusion from the report confirms what we have been saying since day one – Deputies Israel and Duran had no reason whatsoever to stop Mr. Reinhold.” They went on to add, “This was a racially motivated stop aimed at harassing Mr. Reinhold, nothing more.”
The family of Kurt Reinhold has since filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Orange County, asserting that the Sheriff Department’s Homeless Outreach Team is “ill equipped to deal with mentally ill subjects and disproportionally targets and detains persons of color in Orange County.” We might have to agree.
Watch the disturbing footage below and determine for yourself:
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