Believing he was being chased by men with knives, Ruffino Lara asked a family friend to call police to come to his aid.
But when Houston police arrived, they ended up shooting and killing the unarmed man.
When the family friend pulled out her phone to start video recording, police confiscated it, telling her she was not allowed to record.
Now Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland is asking the public to “withhold judgment until all the facts and evidence has been gathered and the investigation is complete.”
But that’s just typical cop talk that we should forget about Tuesday’s incident until nobody but Ruffino’s family cares anymore.
There are already so many contradictions to this story that the confiscation of the witness’s phone is the least of the issues here.
Police gave the usual account that they were in fear for their lives, so they had to kill him.
Houston police officer J. McGowan claimed she ordered Lara in English and Spanish to place both arms in the air, but then he turned around with one hand in his waistband, which is when she shot him.
But at least two witnesses say the cop only barked orders in English and that Lara had both arms in the air when he turned around.
Lara, who did not understand English, died on the spot.
According to the Houston Chronicle:
“He didn’t have his hands in his pocket or his shirt,” said (Florida) Ruvio, who remained with Lara throughout the event.
A second witness, 14-year-old Rigoberto Rubio, who was buying water from a machine nearby, said he also saw Lara with both hands against the wall. The teenager said he didn’t know Lara personally.
Suddenly, Lara turned around to face the officers and was shot fatally by McGowan, Ruvio said, his hands still suspended in the air.
Stunned at the scene, Ruvio yelled to McGowan that she had killed an innocent person, and McGowan responded that “he had drawn out a gun.”
Realizing that police were creating a new version of the facts, Ruvio pulled out her phone to record.
It was quickly confiscated.
Now the ACLU of Texas is protesting.
“It’s a shame we can’t see the video the witness reportedly tried to make,” ACLU of Texas Executive Director Terri Burke stated in a press release.
“Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland has asked for the public to withhold judgment about the shooting. The right of Texans to record police activity in a manner that does not interfere with police work is an important protection against abuses of power by the government. The behavior of some members of the local police department might be less suspect if officers showed more respect for the Constitution, and, in this instance, the First Amendment.”
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CARLOS MILLER’S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.
My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.
So if you would like to contribute, please click on the “donate” button below and contribute whatever you can afford.
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Also, in an unrelated PINAC matter, I recently went through a hair transplant operation and I’m documenting my recovery on this blog if you are interested. I did not pay for this transplant, which is why I’m promoting the doctor through the hair transplant blog.