By: Alek Hidell via anonhq.com
The mother of Abel Correa is suing the Las Vegas Metro Police Department and two of its officers responsible for the shooting death of her son. On August 4, Maria Correa filed a federal civil rights violation law suit, after Officers Glenn Taylor and Eli Prunchak gunned down her son Abel, who was compliant at the time he was killed.
The shooting was captured on the officer’s body cam. The two Metro police officers were called out by a neighbor who reported a disturbance at Correa’s residence. Maria Correa and Abel’s brother were on scene and advised police that he was hiding in the closet. Maria told the officers that he did not have a knife, gun or any intention of harming anyone. This meant little to the officers who wasted no time in shooting him.
The officer can be seen commanding Abel out of the closet. While his hands are not clearly visible, his behavior is calm. According to the police, Abel lunged at them with a wrench or screwdriver in his hands. As per the officers’ statements, they feared that Abel had a knife and was going to stab them. They believed this, despite the fact that no knife was reported, and they had no reason to believe he would be hostile. Any reasonable person who watches the video knows their statements are simply not true.
The police order Abel out of the closet and as he is complying, they open fire on him. If he was armed with anything at all, they did not give him any time to drop it. It almost appears as though the officers issued commands simply to justify their shooting him. This is another example of police agitating a situation, rather than exercising skills to de-escalate it. Although in this case, it did not seem that there was a situation that needed resolving. Abel was calm, compliant and the officers opened fire because they feared for their own safety, as per usual.
The allegations in the lawsuit highlight most of the fundamental problems with policing across the country. It holds the Sheriff responsible, claiming he knew “that Defendants Taylor and Prunchak lacked sufficient knowledge and training in the Departments of Use of Force Policy.” The law suit also alleges that he “should have known officers were not aware of the policy regarding passive resistance.”
One of the clear factors in all police shootings is the violations of long taught defense practices. Violations of the use of force matrix – the police guide to force – is what Maria Correa is referring to when she claims officers were not trained about passive-resistance techniques. Despite the video evidence contradicting the official statement, the officers were deemed to have been legally justified in their actions.
The Clark County District Attorney’s Office released a statement to the media this week. They backed up the officers’ statements and found that they were justified in defending themselves against Abel Correa. It is hard to fathom how one can watch the body cam video of the shooting and believe that the officers were in fear of anything. Body cameras were meant to prevent police misconduct. Instead, they have proven an effective tool in assisting district attorneys with concocting new and logic-defying ways to let police off the hook. The family will have their day in court, however. They are seeking 13.2 million in damages.
Sources: Filming Cops, Las Vagas CBS Local, Review Journal.