Police Abuse

California Highway Cops Shoot Teenager Who Made U-Turn in Cul De Sac After Following Him From an Illegal Street Car Meet

CHP cops are supposed to be testing body cameras this year


family photo

Over the weekend, cops from the California Highway Patrol went undercover to surveil an illegal street car meet called a "sideshow," as the Los Angeles Times reports. Instead of taking down license plates and sending tickets later or disrupting the event as it was happening, police followed an unknown number of suspects after the meeting ended.

Two officers followed 19-year-old Pedro Villanueva, saying he hit speeds upward of 90 miles an hour as he left the meeting. They followed him for several miles, to a cul de sac, where Villanueva chose to make a u-turn. The Fullerton Police Department insists Villanueva tried to drive in the path of the officers when they shot and killed him. It is difficult to imagine a different way of leaving a cul de sac other than by making a u-turn and exiting the same way you came in.

An 18-year-old passenger was also injured in the shooting but is expected to survive. Police have not said whether the cops who killed Villanueva identified themselves as cops—they were driving in an unmarked car and had been tailing Villanueva for several miles. Members of the California Highway Patrol were supposed to start testing body cameras this year and it does not appear either of the officers involved were equipped with any kind of cameras. Police, and other public employees, in California have among the most wide-ranging privileges afforded to government employees anywhere in the country.

h/t Playa Manhattan