WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC VIDEO BELOW
Two California cops blew away a 40 year old mentally-ill suspect only eight seconds after getting out of their car, claiming the man reached for his waistband in the video below.
Police arrived on the scene after receiving calls about a man with a gun in the area.
But Freddy Centeno did not have a gun.
Just a black spray nozzle.
The side-by-side, first person video, shows two Undercover Fresno police officers, Zebulon Price and Felipe Miguel Lucero, getting out of their unmarked vehicle, immediately drawing their sidearms and then loudly yelling at Freddy Centeno, “Get on the ground!!“
The two California cops fired nine times.
Seven rounds impacted Freddy Centeno.
From the time Officers Price and Lucero got out of their car, to the time they shot Centeno was 8 seconds.
Police never told him ‘You’re under arrest.’
Never told him to ‘put his hands in the air.’
It was comply or die.
Lawyers for the family of Freddie Centeno held a press conference today to release the graphic body cam video below, showing the two California cops shooting Centeno.
“The policies and customs behind shootings of civilians such as Freddy Centeno are fundamentally unconstitutional,” reads the lawsuit, “and constitute a menace of major proportions to the public.”
After Freddie Centeno was riddled with bullets on September, 3rd, 2015 officers Price and Lucero, bizarrely continued to tell him to put his hands up, even after he was mortally wounded.
Freddie Centeno was taken to the hospital, and survived 23 more days – all in a coma – after the savage shooting.
“As crazy as it sounds, they charged him with resisting arrest before he died,” said the Centeno family’s lawyer Humberto Guizar, “In an attempt to evade civil liability.”
Centeno died from his wounds on September 26th.
“We’ve been in possession of the video for some time, but it’s very rare for us to get video in these incident without going through all kinds of procedural pitfalls with requesting the information and filing motions,” said the lawyer Guizar in who filed suit in Federal court yesterday (brief below video), “When we did get it, they put a protective order on it so the public doesn’t get to see it. That’s why we held today’s press conference.”
“We want the public to see across the nation, I think this is a matter of public concern across the country, that law enforcement officers are able commit a commando-style execution against an unarmed man like that,” said the lawyer who is also representing Noel Aguilar’s family, the man shot in the back by two LASD cops, “They didn’t tell Freddy to freeze or warn him or anything like that.”
“We think it’s a clear cut case of excessive force,” he said, “I’ve been a civil rights attorney for 29 years, and I’ve never seen a police shooting this bad.”
The Fresno Bee reported that the California cops had already dealt with Freddy Centeno recently, and that the agency was aware of his mental health condition too:
Shortly after the shooting, Centeno’s brother, Roger, told The Bee that his brother was bipolar, schizophrenic and abused drugs. Roger lived with Freddy and their parents, and he questioned the need for such force.
The department was aware of Centeno’s mental illness, but Price and Lucero were not, Fresno police Lt. Mark Salazar said at the time. Centeno had been issued a misdemeanor citation in February 2015 for interfering with police, and officers had been called out to his home in March for a disturbance. They learned he was off his medication and had him evaluated by medical health personnel. He was arrested for allegedly possessing methamphetamine two days later.
The Centeno family’s attorney concluded that, “the video looked like something from a war, but that even in war you don’t shoot an unarmed person approaching without giving them a chance to surrender.”
The cops did render CPR to Centeno, but it didn’t help at that point.
PINAC News investigator Felipe Hemming reports that the Fresno District Attorney investigation of Freddy Centeno shooting death is “still open” and they offer no comment.
If you’ve got an opinion of which charges should be filed, and when, against the two California cops who only needed eight seconds to decide if Freddy Centeno should live or die, please call (559) 455-6068.
Ed. Note: This story has been updated to note that the officers arrived in an un-marked police vehicle. Felipe Hemming and Grant Stern Contributed to this report.