Police Abuse

Police Officer Returns to Duty After Fatally Shooting Unarmed Man 11 Times

|

Yesterday attorneys for the family of Ernesto Duenez Jr. released graphic camera footage of the 34-year-old being fatally shot by Oakland police officer James Moody back in June 2011.

The patrol car's dash cam recorded the incident in which Officer Moody ordered Duenez to get out of a truck in which he was a passenger. Duenez was wanted in connection with an incident of domestic-violence reported earlier the same day and officers has been stalking out the house for some hours. On exiting the vehicle Duenez was seen leaning back towards the cab. Attorneys for his family say his foot had become stuck in the seat belt and he was simply trying to free himself. The Manteca officer yelled at Duenez to put his hands up and "drop the knife now." He can also be heard yelling "Hands up! Hands up, Ernie! Don't you move, Ernie, don't you move or I'll shoot you!" Moody then proceeded to fire 13 bullets in 4.2 seconds, 11 of which struck Duenez, including four once he was already on the ground. The victim's wife can be seen running out of the house, screaming at the officer and subsequently crying over her husband's body

An 8-inch "throwing knife" was found in the bed of Duenez's vehicle however experts at the district attorneys office could not explain how the knife could have initially been seen and later end up in the truck bed. The family's attorneys claim that in the released footage Duenez is not seen carrying a weapon, and can also be seen struggling with his seatbelt on exit from the vehicle. Moody claims he saw a knife in Duenez's right hand and believed the suspect might charge him or throw it at him. San Joaquin Country District Attorney's Office determined on Tuesday that Moody's shooting was justified, but the video evidence was not released until after the decision had been called. Duenez's family are now seeking federal prosecution on the back of the tape's release.

Following his clearing on Tuesday Officer James Moody is back on active duty.

Video here

NEXT: FL May Require Scholarship Recipients To Remain In-State After Graduation

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Fatally shot 11 times. Wow. Even cats usually can only handle nine fatal shootings.

  2. That guy had it coming, if you ask me.

    Why, anyone should be able to recognize, process, respond and accurately comply to unexpected and suddenly shouted commands from unknown people out of your line of sight, within 3.1 seconds.

  3. um, wouldn’t only 1 of the bullets be fatal and the rest just be shooting a corpse?

    1. Nah, there’d be a mix of attempted murder, murder, and shooting a corpse.

      I mean I guess unless the very first one was the fatal one. Or the last one.

    2. NO

      If he bled to death several could have contributed.

  4. “The prosecutor’s report said Duenez was involved in a domestic disturbance earlier in the day with his wife, Whitney Duenez, and that witnesses had told police Duenez was carrying the throwing knife and was known to carry a gun…. Duenez was a gang member who had served three prison stints for convictions stemming from methamphetamine possession, reckless evasion of police in a stolen vehicle and assault with a deadly weapon…. Duenez had failed a drug test before the police stop and had known he was in violation of his parole.”

    Sounds like the officer might have been a bit nervous about confronting this guy.

    1. Sounds like the officer was a complete and total pussy, whose only tool is a hammer gun.

    2. If only cops got paid an inordinate amount (relative to their education, training and general replacability) to face situations just like this…

      1. Do you know how hard it is to get a GED or high school diploma, pass a psych exam and make sure you score low enough on the IQ test to get the job?

    3. Sounds like the officer might have been a bit nervous about confronting this guy.

      And justifiably so. That’s why it would have been prudent for them to be very visible when initially confronting him. Hell, maybe even a phone call requesting he come in voluntarily to avoid any possible misunderstanding or confrontation. Shit, 90% of these police shootings could be avoided if they just called suspects instead of ambushing them.

      1. Thing is, they want these confrontations. That’s why they took the job.

        Confronting people and having power over them is fun!

        Beating them up and choking them is fun!

        Killing people is fun!

        Why ruin the fun with a phone call?

  5. Is it his duty to shoot unarmed men?

    Because it would make a lot of sense then.

  6. Clever how the DA didn’t release the dashcam footage until after he had ruled out charges.

    I’m sorry, but situations like this require a grand jury be convened by a special prosecutor.* It is not fair to expect a DA to make a fair decision when he works so closely with police officers on a regular basis.

    *I would be fine with criminal defense attorneys convening these grand juries on a voluntary basis and/or carrying through with the prosecution if the grand jury recommends bringing charges.

    1. The grand jury should consist only of people who are in the private sector and only libertarians or anarchists.

      1. I wouldn’t go that far, but I think it should be completely random and they should enjoy some form of anonymity so they won’t have to fear intimidation and/or reprisal.

        1. Why not go that far? Its all about maximizing liberty.

          1. Because the concept of “Top Men” is for assholes like them, not for us.

  7. Moody then proceeded to fire 13 bullets in 4.2 seconds, 11 of which struck Duenez

    That has to be a new record for accuracy for a police officer.

    1. Indeed.

      Lots of times when cops start shooting. they manage to hit everthing except what they’re actually shooting at.

    2. Nah. They always seem to aim straight and true when they shouldn’t be firing at all. Only when hitting the target benefits society do they miss.

    3. To be fair, he was only about 7-feet away. A competent marksman would have to miss intentionally to not hit all 13 at that distance.

  8. “Hands up! Hands up, Ernie! Don’t you move, Ernie, don’t you move or I’ll shoot you!”

    Sigh. Which is it? Hands up, or don’t move?

    The family’s attorneys claim that in the released footage Duenez is not seen carrying a weapon, and can also be seen struggling with his seatbelt on exit from the vehicle. Moody claims he saw a knife in Duenez’s right hand

    Sounds like a grand jury should have taken a look at this. Conflicting evidence, and all that.

    1. Why? The perp is already dead. Seems like a waste of money.

  9. To ensure we get what we pay for, officers should all be terminated and an open application period opened for all police officers. Cut their current start pay by 20% and see how many people apply. If it’s more than 125% of the people you need for the job, cut the rate of pay by another 20%. Continue doing this until your applicants number less than 125% of the jobs you have to fill and raise the rate by 5% (no retirement, no pension). You will have reached the market level for a police officer.

    1. If the pay isn’t a draw, you’ll only attract thugs who just want authority to police work. I don’t mind paying them generously so long as we get GOOD officers for our money.

      1. The market will still attract decent people if it’s at the right rate. There are people out there willing to do this job for less than $64k a year to start…especially with unemployment what it is.

        Sorry, but if we’re getting goons, I’d rather we get goons at $12/hour than at $85k a year + guaranteed OT taking them to six figures and a fully (taxpayer)-funded pension after 25 years.

        1. I agree that we’re getting goons, but paying them less guarantees that’s all we’ll ever get. First and foremost the police have a culture problem and tinkering with their paychecks isn’t going to fix that.

          1. There is a difference between a peace officer and a law enforcement officer.

            Peace officers go around looking for people to help.

            Law enforcement officers go around looking for people to punish.

            I don’t believe that there are any peace officers anymore, if there ever were.

            1. There are no friendly civilians, sir!

          2. I know where you’re coming from, but I just can’t think we’ll get any better than what we have. The police have always acted with impunity and that type of job has attracted people who like to use force on others.

            Unless we have a system like Rasilio proposes below, we are better off paying less for the goons that the current rate.

    2. Actually I would be perfectly fine with raising the pay of cops, but concurrent with that I want some legal changes such that is is abundantly clear that police are held to a higher standard than the general populace and one special law, any officer of the law (Cop, DA, any of them) caught lying under oath gets life in prison with no possibility of ever recieving parole (I’d be fine with the death penalty too)

      1. How about life in prison without the possibility of parole for any arrest for which the arrestee did not give his consent to be aggressed upon?

      2. I wouldn’t be that draconian. The Book of Daniel claims that the Jews’ law on false witness was that the perjurer got whatever punishment would have been given to the person they falsely accused, and that seems reasonable.

        If they lie about a traffic ticket they get a hefty fine. If they lie about a capital offense they get the guillotine.

        1. I’m not as worried about them lying leading to a criminal conviction, I was more worried about anding the “code of silence”

        2. Wow, we finally started using the guillotine?

  10. You all knew I’d do this. PoliceOne chimes in. (Note the wording they chose for the headline)

    Comment 1: The chick running up to him is lucky she didn’t get capped too, with tunnel vision and all. Gee whiz people, stay the hell out of the situation! Good shot, Sir! Take a mental health break now.

    Comment 2: POS family looking for a payday.

    1. Damnit, sloopy, I’m eating. Fuck.

    2. I pointed out number one the first time this got posted. Lucky the officer emptied his magazine and was too lazy to reload.

  11. BOILERPLATE:

    “I saw the filthy perp — or puppy, homeless person, pothead, elderly woman, fleeing suspect with back to cop, paralyzed veteran in wheelchair, etc. — reaching for what I thought was a weapon and I FELT, yes FELT THAT MY LIFE WAS IN DANGER.”

    “So I shot the motherfucker 11 times.”

    1. BOILERPLATE:

      “The Police Commission — composed of Police Union apologists, Police Union members, and Civilian Law and Order apologists — has determined that all procedures were followed and no disciplinary action is warranted.”

    2. This gives me a good idea on how to save taxpayer money. Instead of giving blank UOF forms for cops to fill out after a shooting incident, why not give them one like this:

      “I, _________, do swear under oath that the following statement is true.

      I, _________, was on duty at _________ and engaged a perp I had reasonable suspicion was involved in committing ________. After issuing a lawful command, I witnessed the perp taking an aggressive stance and reaching into his waistband to remove what I believed to be a (please circle one) gun/knife/throwing star. Fearing that my life was in danger, I discharged my weapon to stop the threat.

      Sincerely,
      Officer _____________”

      1. Sometimes I wonder if they carry around a little handbook of lies to use in their reports for any given situation.

        “sweet smell of marijuana” “eyes were red and bloody” “feared for my life” etc

        1. They may not get any training on how not to shoot a dog with a ball in his mouth, but they seem to get plenty of training on how to recite the proper spells to repel internal investigations.

        2. And do they learn these lies in the academy, or is it on the job training?

          1. My stepson’s father is a cop. I could ask him.

            Then again I’d be asking for a beating, so I think I’ll pass.

            1. Yean, he might see you ‘reaching into your waistband’ with a ‘furtive movement’.

            2. I thought you were going to have a “chat” with him?

          2. Most of this language is made up by attorneys for the police union and attorneys for the state or city government.

            The Feds take it to a whole and other level.

        3. “reaching into his waistband” is an old classic. Luv it.

          1. “But this video shows the suspect was naked.”

            “I didn’t want to tackle the naked guy so I shot him 45 times in the junk.”

          2. “reaching into the waistband” for the “foreign object” = Big Time Wrestling!!! Coco Brazil v Pampero Firpo (the Eight Wonder of the World?) FTW.

  12. Moody’s shooting was justified

    Of course it was. Procedures were followed, officer safety, thin blue line, not experts, Heroes, derp.

    The End. Of that dude’s life.

  13. OT: With 12 now confirmed dead in CT school shooting, Piers Morgan immediately on his high, retarded horse about gun control. Can someone please explain to me why we need to allow him to have a television show? (That question grates on me more than anything else.)

      1. Kids reported dead in CT school shooting. How many school & mall shootings before we regulate guns as seriously as cars?

        Of course, the Pulitzer Prize winning honorary African never poses the question of WHY schools (usually public) and malls are so frequently the target of mass murderers (large, target-rich, likely to be unarmed) rather than, say, police stations, military bases, and tractor pulls?

        Sounds to me like we need to highly regulate schools and malls. For the public good, of course. Strip searches and bodyscans before you enter Macy’s or Geometry.

        1. Strip searches and bodyscans before you enter Macy’s or Geometry.

          I have a strange feeling there will be security procedures like this, coming to a mall near you soon.

          1. I have a strange feeling there will be security procedures like this, coming to a mall near you soon.

            Well, time to find the Captain Morgan and start the weekend early.

          2. There’s nothing at a mall I need enough to go through a security scan to get.

    1. Laws providing for his execution or permanent incarceration didn’t stop him, but fear of using an illegal gun will?

      1. I just had another one come through from a private person I’ve followed for years saying “BAN ALL GUNS.” Because banning all murders worked so well?

    2. He says the things needing to be said that decency prevents …. good people from saying.

      Sorry, I had to stop in the middle of writing that and throw up a bit.

    3. Wow. We’re almost up to half the number that Chinese guy injured with a knife this week.

      But guns kill…and forks make people fat.

    4. What is this shit about 100 rounds in seconds? I read it was a handgun(s) the shooter had. Can anyone pull the trigger that fast? Would they?

      1. Apparently the cops are saying at least 100 rounds were fired. No indication of actual time-frame.

        1. So the guy could have been firing for 20 minutes? Shit, I could do that with a ball and cap revolver. People who practice can probably do it with a musket.

    5. Why does any civilian in America need a weapon that can fire 100 rounds of ammunition at rapid speed? Give me ONE good reason?

      Because we remain ever-vigilant that the redcoats might return.

      1. Why does any civilian in America need a weapon that can fire 100 rounds of ammunition at rapid speed? Give me ONE good reason?

        You and 99 of your friends.

        1. Why does Piers Morgan need a Twitter account? Give me one good reason.

          1. Can he put a thought together that’s more than 140 characters? No, the question should be, “why does Piers Morgan need anything besides a Twitter account.”

            And FWIW, if they did a remake of Idiocracy, Twitter would be an important footnote on the timeline at the beginning of the film.

      2. Because our government is evil and there will come a time when we need to defend our families from them.

        1. I love when you bring that up to liberals and they spout off about how civilians wont have a chance against the military anyways.

          It’s amazing how that is justification to further tilt the playing field in governments favor.

          1. The ones that support rigid gun control would be pants-shitting scared if the government were cut back by 5%. To them, government is the solution to everything.

          2. I love when you bring that up to liberals and they spout off about how civilians wont have a chance against the military anyways.

            What do they say about Afghanistan?

      3. Why does any civilian in America need a weapon that can fire 100 rounds of ammunition at rapid speed?

        Hell, my handguns can fire thousands of rounds “at rapid speed”. Any semi-auto can.

        You just have to reload periodically.

        Why is it that anti-gunners constantly reveal their complete ignorance about guns?

        1. They can’t help it. They have no idea there’s even something to be ignorant of.

          1. “There’s known unknowns, and there’s unknown unknowns…”

        2. Why is it that anti-gunners constantly reveal their complete ignorance about guns?

          Because most of their exposure to firearms involves playing FPS where a handgun has 100 rounds and reloading is as easy as running over the top of a magazine about the size of a person’s shin.

        3. Wouldn’t that seriously fuck up the barrel if you didn’t let it cool down periodically?

    6. Where on the H&R-calibrated meanness scale from 1 to 10 does it fall that, while I do feel sorry for the victims and their families, my overwhelming emotion right now is just fury that 99.9% of the people I know outside this board are right now going nuts about EVIL HANDGUNS AND GUN CONTROL AND CHILDRENZ?

      1. It falls at about a 1.5. It’s not mean to see how tragic events like this (and it truly is a tragedy) are being manipulated by people who want to curtail your God-given and/or Constitutional Rights.

        As a matter of fact, I’d be ashamed and furious if an event like this let even one of us slip into the gun control camp merely because of its scope.

        I mean, it’s not like there’s an outcry to ban city vehicles in Chicago just because a drunk city worker plowed into a crowd and severely injured several people (costing the city taxpayers millions).

        Also FTA: Also on Monday, the Finance Committee agreed to pay $750,000 to the family of a 35-year-old woman killed after her car was hit by a Chicago Police squad car at 79th and Loomis and $5000,000 to the family of an unarmed 14-year-old shot and wounded by a another Chicago Police officer.

    7. ZeroHedge is also reporting the shooter was from NJ, which would imply either (a) illegal weapons or (b) highly regulated weapons.

      1. If he was from NJ it is almost a certainty he did not have a CCW permit, and likely did not go through all the NJ hoops to get the guns legally. So I guess the gun-control idiots would have to admit gun control doesn’t work to stop things like this, since it obviously didn’t work in this case.

    8. To be fair, it’s been proven that Piers Morgan’s horse is nowhere near as retarded as is Piers Morgan.

    9. OT: With 12 now confirmed dead in CT school shooting, Piers Morgan immediately on his high, retarded horse about gun control. Can someone please explain to me why we need to allow him to have a television show? (That question grates on me more than anything else.)

      So impose it on cops.

      In fact, cops should be subject to stricter gun control than the general population.

  14. Plus, where is the one place in town a shooter can reasonably expect no one else is armed? A grade school.

  15. If I were a paranoid schizophreniac, I would note that everytime a pro-liberty gun decision comes from the courts, a mass-shooting ‘mysteriously’ happens.

    The truth is out there

  16. What’s with the planted knife? Didn’t he know cops don’t need drop weapons anymore?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.