General Crime

* Oakland Police Officer Hector Jimenez Dismissed After a Fatal Shooting

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Editor Note: We at Fugitive Watch know that all the “hate the police” groups come out of the woodwork every time a police officer is accused of misconduct so we feel the need to remind them that Officer Hector Jimenez deserves the same right to be considered innocent as every other person  in this country.

News Article: Oakland police Officer Hector Jiminez has been fired for fatally shooting an unarmed man in the back last year, his attorney said today.  But Justin Buffington, the lawyer for Jiminez, said he will file a grievance with Oakland officials to try to help Jiminez get his job back. Jiminez also shot and killed another suspect in 2007. Buffington said he thinks that Oakland Police Department officials didn’t want to fire Jiminez but felt compelled to do so because of “a public outcry” about officer-involved shootings in the wake of a New Year’s Day incident in which former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle shot and killed unarmed passenger Oscar Grant III.  Jiminez shot and killed 27-year-old Mack Woodfox, who was attempting to flee on foot after leading police on a high-speed car chase, at Fruitvale Avenue and East 17th Street about 3:50 a.m. on July 25, 2008.  Shortly afterward, Oakland police Lt. Ersie Joyner said the incident began when Jimenez and another officer were patrolling the Fruitvale Avenue area and observed that Woodfox appeared to be “a dangerous driving under the influence of alcohol driver.”  Buffington said today that Jiminez, who graduated from the Oakland Police Academy in February 2007, fired at Woodfox because Woodfox reached in
his waistband, an area where suspects are known to carry guns. Buffington said another reason Jiminez thought the situation was
dangerous was that Woodfox actually ran toward police officers, not away from them, even though there were several possible escape routes. On Dec. 31, 2007, Jimenez and another officer shot and killed 20-year-old Andrew Moppin, telling investigators Moppin had made a quick move toward his waistband and they thought he was reaching for a gun.  However, Moppin was found to be unarmed. Buffington said the Oakland Police Department and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office cleared Jiminez of any potential wrongdoing in Moppin’s death and didn’t require him to undergo any further training.  He said that was an indication that police officials thought Jiminez had acted appropriately in responding to what he perceived as a potential use of deadly force. Buffington said Woodfox acted “in an even more aggressive manner” than Moppin did, so he believes it was “completely incongruent” for police officials to fire Jiminez for the Woodfox incident.  Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason declined to comment on Jiminez’s case today, saying that the department doesn’t comment on personnel matters.  Oakland attorney John Burris, who filed a $10 million civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit against Jiminez and the Oakland Police Department on behalf of Woodfox’s family, said he and the family are “pleased” that Jiminez has been fired. However, Burris said he thinks that Jiminez should be criminally prosecuted for killing Woodfox and has asked the U.S. Attorney’s Office to do so. Burris said, “This was an egregious shooting and coupled with the previous shooting one has to wonder about his temperament to be a police officer in stressful situations.” Burris said the department’s decision to fire Jiminez “sends a powerful signal to other officers that if you violate the excessive force policy it can have grave consequences.”  Burris said he also has filed a lawsuit against the Police Department and Jiminez and the other officer in connection with Moppin’s death. Woodfox had a criminal record but Jiminez wasn’t aware of it at the time of the shooting.  According to court records, Woodfox was convicted of possession of heroin for sale in 2000, when he was an adult, and also was convicted of similar charges twice when he was a juvenile. Woodfox also was prosecuted for attempted murder and carjacking for an incident at a Shell gas station at Oakdale Avenue and Bayshore Boulevard in San Francisco at 2:30 a.m. on May 14, 2004. At the end of a preliminary hearing a judge ordered Woodfox to stand trial, but on June 12, 2006, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office asked that the case be dismissed, stating that the alleged victim in the case, Aaron Holmes, was unavailable. According to court records, Holmes told police Woodfox and another man, Monterrio Davis, approached him as he was getting gas and took earrings, his wallet, his watch and other jewelry. Holmes said Woodfox shot and robbed him and Davis punched him and robbed him. On Aug. 13, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Leo Dorado sentenced Davis, a 25-year-old Oakland man, to three consecutive terms of life in prison without parole plus another 71 years for a shooting and robbery spree in Oakland and San Francisco that began on the night of Feb. 18, 2003, and continued into the next morning.

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