Jonathan Cuevas was a jaywalker. That’s right, a jaywalker. And jaywalking is an offense. This means that those who are of the view that the simple solution to whatever stems from the commission of an offense is, by definition, justified. After all, Cuevas chose to jaywalk. He chose to commit the offense. So he has no one to blame for his killing than himself.
And if this is what you think, then you have lost any shred of humanity.
From KPCC :
Jonathan Cuevas was out late in Lynwood on October 10, 2010 with two friends walking to a house party. They stopped at a liquor store on Long Beach Boulevard to buy beer and snacks. The group of men jaywalked across the street around 1:45 a.m. when a deputy patrol car pulled up to cite them for an alleged pedestrian violation.
Cuevas ran. The LA County deputy, who inexplicably is unnamed in the report. either wasn’t in the mood for this lack of respect or didn’t feel like running after a kid down for a jaywalking ticket. So rather than give chase, he shot.
While the “coup de grace” makes for a dramatic flair, not a single shot fired can be rationally explained. For jaywalking? We don’t kill people for jaywalking. Not even jaywalking plus contempt of cop. It’s just not a crime for which the death penalty is imposed, even on the streets of L.A.
But then, it’s never quite so simple. The police, who have thoroughly investigated what happened and concluded that the unnamed deputy should get a medal, claim that Cuevas had a gun.
A Sheriff’s department incident report says the deputy involved, Julio Jove, says he saw Cuevas pull a handgun from his waistband and point it at him. But Cuevas’ relatives maintain that the surveillance video doesn’t show that.
“It doesn’t show that he makes a threat to the officer. He’s running. He gets shot in the back and he falls
down and the officer stands over him and continues to shoot him,” said Mayra Murrillo, Cuevas’s fiancé and mother of their four-year-old son.
And why would Cuevas point a gun at police officer? To avoid a jaywalking ticket? If anything, it would explain why he ran, but the cop wouldn’t know that he had a gun until he searched the dead body lying in the road.
It’s unclear from reports whether it’s conceded that Cuevas was armed or not. His family’s attorney notes that the gun was at first a silverplated gun, though in a photograph it was a black weapon. That’s understandable, as the silver gun is way cooler and it would be a shame to waste it on a throwaway.
Regardless, there were no prints from Cuevas on the weapon, but as anyone who has ever crossed a cop on a weapons case knows, it’s the police position that it’s almost impossible to find fingerprints on a metal gun except when they confirm the prosecution’s claims.
The gun is a red herring. Notwithstanding the fact that the video fails to show anything remotely suggesting that Cuevas pulled it on the unnamed deputy, and despite the absurdity of such a claim, he was shot, again and again, in the back as he ran away. There is no theory to explain an officer in fear from a person’s back as he ran away. This, of course, didn’t stop the police from asserting with absolute certainty that it happened.
Yet, there is not only a lack of focus on what is clearly shown in the video, but the possibility that it was wrong to execute Jonathan Cuevas for the heinous offense of jaywalking was dismissed because the police and district attorney “investigated.” After all, if they investigated and decided that this was a righteous shoot, what more is there to say?
Jaywalking. Another proud moment in law enforcement in America.