Orange County Sheriff’s Department Releases Video of Deputy Shooting
Orange County sheriff’s officials released a video Wednesday in the investigation into homeless outreach deputies’ fatal shooting of a Black man they’d accused of jaywalking in San Clemente last year.
The release includes dashcam, cellphone and motel surveillance video that captures the ordeal unfolding from the moment deputies contacted 42-year-old Kurt Andras Reinhold on the sidewalk, to the ensuing struggle and Reinhold’s shooting death.
No body camera video was released.
The Sept. 23 shooting, on the heels of national unrest over police violence, sparked protests that resulted in the city of San Clemente declaring a curfew in certain areas.
The two deputies involved, an eight-year veteran and a 13-year veteran, are full-time homeless liaison officers in San Clemente. Their duties involve assisting those living on the streets and helping them access resources and services. O.C. sheriff’s officials have not released their names.
The incident began when the deputies observed Reinhold near the corner of El Camino Real and Avenida San Gabriel as they sat in their patrol car across the street.
“Watch this, he’s going to jaywalk,” one of them can be heard saying on the dashcam footage.
The deputies then debate whether he’s jaywalking, with one telling the other, “Don’t make case law.”
The deputies then pull up to Reinhold, who’s standing on the sidewalk. After that, both the deputies and Reinhold disappear from the camera’s view, but their voices are still audible.
“Are you going to stop or are we going to have to make you stop?” one of the deputies asks Reinhold multiple times.
Reinhold is heard asking, “For what?” The deputy tells him for jaywalking.
“What are you talking about? I’m walking,” Reinhold replies, then shouts at the deputies to get off him.
An argument ensues. Reinhold says he doesn’t understand why he’s being stopped and repeatedly asks the deputies to stop touching him.
One deputy tells him he’s resisting arrest for jaywalking. “That’s ridiculous,” Reinhold says.
The audio from the deputies’ microphones becomes unintelligible as the three move away from the patrol vehicle.
Bystander’s cellphone video captured the group continuing to argue as Reinhold tries to walk away from the deputies.
One deputy begins shoving Reinhold, and both deputies soon tackle him to the ground. Sgt. Dennis Breckner says in the video release the deputies were trying to “gain control of him.”
The motel security video — which was previously obtained by KTLA — captured the struggle that ensues, during which one deputy is heard in the video saying, “He’s got my gun,” according to the Sheriff’s Department.
The other deputy opens fire moments later. Two shots heard one about seven seconds after the other.
Sheriff’s investigators had previously released a still from the footage that appears to show Reinhold’s hand near or on a deputy’s holster while he and the deputies were struggling on the ground.
But deputies have said it’s unclear whether Reinhold was able to unholster the weapon. That remains under investigation by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Department had previously said the shooting happened roughly three minutes after deputies made contact with the man.
Reinhold’s family, who filed a wrongful death lawsuit in the case in December, released a statement through their lawyers Wednesday saying the new video “confirms what we knew all along – the involved deputies had no reason to stop Mr. Reinhold.”
“The OC Sheriffs Homeless Liaison Officers use pretext reasons to stop anyone for any reason they want, simply to harass the person,” attorney John C. Taylor wrote. “These officers created and escalated the confrontation with Kurt Reinhold causing his death.”
The shooting remains under investigation, with the DA’s office yet to determine whether it believes the shooting was justified.
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