Retired police captain examines video of officer-involved shooting

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by Steve Ryan

azfamily.com

Posted on February 10, 2014 at 9:29 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 12 at 1:21 PM

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PHOENIX -- A former law enforcement officer is questioning what happened in the moments after a car chase suspect turned his back on Pinal County sheriff's deputies.

The deputies shot and killed him. Now, the FBI is investigating. The bureau will examine the video, which allegedly shows a deputy fatally shooting Manuel Longoria.

Sheriff Paul Babeu called the shooting justified. But retired police Capt. C.W. Jensen said he would have done it differently. Jensen, now a law enforcement consultant, has been in a similar situation. He was once forced to kill a man who had a hostage.

He said that the confusion of law enforcement yelling commands at the suspect while screaming safety warnings at each other was disorganization in a volatile situation.

"One person has to take control, and say, 'Everybody shut up and put your hands up, get down on your knees, interlace your fingers,' while the other guys get cover," he said. "When I saw it, I just thought, that's just not the way we would have done it."

Longoria had allegedly led deputies and Eloy police on a chase. Off camera, because of a pending investigation, deputies told 3TV he had tried to ram patrol cars and told law enforcement he had a gun.

When Longoria finally stopped, less-than-lethal weapons didn't work on him. His hands were raised and his back turned when the deputy shot him.

No weapon was found on Longoria, but the video doesn't reflect whether he was still threatening deputies or acted as if he was holding something.

"Nobody sees the same thing," Jensen said. "And that's the important thing to remember. It's easy for me or you or all of us to watch a video. What's important is when you go to a grand jury and say 'Man, this is what I saw.'"

PCSO representatives say that since the deputy thought Longoria had retrieved a weapon from the car after he was told not to reach back into the vehicle, the deputy reacted as he had been trained: to protect the lives of the other law enforcement officers on the scene.

 

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