Fresno, CA – An attorney for the family of a man fatally shot by police released bodycam video of the incident to try and bolster public support for their lawsuit (video below).
Raymond Angel Gonzalez, 34, was wanted in connection with a shooting two weeks earlier when police spotted him in front of a liquor store at about 3:45 p.m. on March 23, 2016, the Fresno Bee reported.
When an officer attempted to speak to Gonzalez, he fled, dropping his backpack as he ran, bodycam video showed.
Fresno Police Officer Zebulon Price pursued the suspect on foot, the Fresno Bee reported.
Gonzalez had a gun in his hand, and attempted to throw it up onto a nearby roof.
Officer Price fired once and missed Gonzalez, the Fresno Bee reported.
The video showed that Gonzalez fell to the ground, and his handgun landed on the ground right next to him.
Officer Price ordered Gonzalez to put his hands up, and not to touch the gun, but the man refused to sit still.
The video showed Gonzalez putting his hand over the gun, as if to pick it up, as Officer Price screamed “No!” at him five times in a row.
Gonzalez sat up and continued squirming, and did not follow the officer’s commands.
When he reached for his waistband, Officer Price fatally shot him.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer defended Officer Price’s actions, the Fresno Bee reported.
Chief Dyer said that Gonzalez, who was on parole and wanted in connection with a March 10, 2016 shooting when he was shot, was high on four times the toxic level of methamphetamine when he ran from police.
The backpack Gonzalez dropped in the video contained a disassembled AR-15 pistol, he said.
A lighter and a crack pipe were also found near his body, the Fresno Bee reported.
The police chief said that Gonzalez’s family’s attorney had only released the video to garner support for their appeal of their lawsuit, according to the Fresno Bee.
“Whenever an attorney like Humberto Guizar cannot get the results he wants to get through the court system, he’s going to turn to the public to get sympathy,” Chief Dyer said. “I don’t believe – in fact, I know – that this community is smarter than that. They’re not going to believe him, just like the federal judge in the court system hasn’t believed him.”
He said that Officer Price had been cleared by an internal affairs investigation, the Fresno County district attorney, and a federal judge – all of whom found the shooting justified, the Fresno Bee reported.
Guizar is also representing the family of Freddy Centeno, who was fatally shot by Officer Price on Sept. 3, 2015.
The district attorney found the officer justified in that shooting as well, the Fresno Bee reported.
“This one officer killed my brother, Freddy Centeno, and Angel Gonzalez, within six months,” Rogelio Centeno told KFSN. “It’s not normal.”
Chief Dyer has defended Officer Price in both shooting incidents.
In fact, Officer Price was promoted to sergeant in June of 2017, the Fresno Bee reported.
Watch the chase that led to the Gonzalez shooting unfold in the video below: