Eagle Point, OR – Prosecutors released bodycam video from the fatal shooting of a schizophrenic man inside a bathroom at a Carl’s Jr. restaurant after the grand jury ruled the shooting justified (video below).
The incident began at about 8:45 pm on Sept. 19 when Eagle Point Police Officer Daniel Cardenas saw 33-year-old Matthew Graves walking in traffic, The Oregonian reported.
Officer Cardenas testified that he had to stop quickly because Graves was jaywalking.
And he said that after he pulled away, he saw in his mirror that the man stepped back into traffic.
Officer Cardenas made a U-turn and returned to talk to Graves about the dangers of jaywalking, according to The Oregonian.
Graves walked away and refused to stop and talk to the officer, so Officer Cardenas followed him to a nearby Carl’s Jr.
Once inside the restaurant, Graves went into the men’s room and washed his hands.
Officer Cardenas followed him, weapon drawn.
The video showed the officer stayed in the threshold of the bathroom and ordered Graves to show him his hands.
“Let me see your f–king hands right now,” Officer Cardenas ordered. “Let me see your hands!”
Graves told the officer to “shut the f–k up” and largely ignored him.
“You don’t even talk to me like that,” Graves responded, as he walked to the paper towel dispenser and nonchalantly dried his hands.
At that point, the officer holstered his pistol and drew his Taser, the video showed.
“You’re going to get tased, or you’re going to get on the ground,” Officer Cardenas told him. “Get on the ground, get on the ground.”
Graves spouted some nonsensical words at the officer, and then tried to leave the bathroom.
“I’m gonna eat, excuse me,” the man said to the officer.
“No, you’re not,” Officer Cardenas replied.
“You wanna bet?” Graves asked.
The men engaged in a short shoving match as Graves attempted to leave the restroom multiple times, and the officer repeatedly told him to get back.
“You touch me again and you’re gone,” Graves warned Officer Cardenas.
“Touch me again and see what f–king happens,” the officer replied.
After Graves pushed the officer for the third time, Officer Cardenas deployed his Taser.
Graves backed away initially when tased, but then came back at the officer, appearing to be largely unaffected by the weapon, the video showed.
Officer Cardenas continued to order Graves to the ground five more times and he continued to ignore the commands.
That’s when a second officer – 15-year police veteran Senior Officer Clarence “C.J.” Davis – arrived in the bathroom to back up Officer Cardenas.
Seconds later, the three men were fighting on the bathroom floor.
Officer Cardenas’ bodycam was knocked off and continued to film from the floor, but not all of the altercation was captured on video.
Seven seconds into the scuffle, Officer Davis called out “gun,” the video showed.
Officer Cardenas asked Graves if he had a weapon, but the man continued fighting.
Then Officer Davis repeated that he’d seen a gun and Officer Cardenas fired his weapon at Graves.
Afterward when Officer Cardenas said he couldn’t find the gun, Officer Davis said he might have mistaken the Taser for a gun because they are both black.
The officers were placed on administrative leave while the shooting was investigated.
Graves’ father testified before a Jackson County grand jury that his son was schizophrenic and had not taken his medication in years, The Oregonian reported.
The grand jury determined that Officer Cardenas was legally justified in shooting Graves, but suggested that police get Tasers which are a different color than their guns.
Despite the mix up, police are generally allowed to use lethal force against suspects armed with Tasers due to their ability to incapacitate an officer.
You can see the video of the altercation below: