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Video: Riverside Officer Fatally Shoots Graffiti Suspect Who Pulled Gun On Him

Riverside, CA – Riverside police released a video on Tuesday of an officer-involved fatal shooting of an armed man (video below).

The incident occurred just after 4:30 p.m. on March 9 when officers responded to the 3700-block of Iowa Avenue for a report of three men spray-painting graffiti on the side of an apartment building, The Press-Enterprise reported.

Audio released by the Riverside Police Department showed a witness called 911 and reported that he had yelled at the vandals to stop and one of them had brandished a semiautomatic pistol at him.

Multiple police cars responded to the area and the suspects fled, The Press-Enterprise reported.

Police said 19-year-old Jehlani Black was holding a handgun as he ran from police.

Bodycam showed an officer chasing Black on foot and yelling at him to stop.

Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez said another officer caught up with
Black first, as the suspect ducked under a metal railing on the handicapped ramp of a building, the Associated Press reported.

“He turned toward the officer with the gun in his right hand,” Chief Gonzalez told reporters.

The bodycam video showed the officer yelled at Black to drop his gun and get on the ground.

Black ignored the officer’s commands and when he turned to face him with a gun in his hand, the officer fired two shots.

The video showed Black collapsed to the ground and his gun landed on the pavement next to him.

The officers yelled at Black in the video to stop moving as they approached and kicked the pistol out of his reach.

Black’s gun that was recovered at the scene was identified by police as a .38 caliber pistol, The Press-Enterprise reported.

Chief Gonzalez said that Black died at the scene despite lifesaving efforts by first responders, the Associated Press reported.

“Our officers do everything possible to de-escalate the situations they encounter, and when any type of force is used, it is taken very seriously,” the chief said.

The police chief said officers arrested a second suspect at the scene.

The suspect was a 16-year-old boy whom police arrested and booked on suspicion of gang graffiti vandalism, the Associated Press reported.

Chief Gonzalez said the juvenile suspect was released into the custody of his parents.

The officer-involved shooting remained under investigation by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, the Associated Press reported.

The district attorney has the ultimate authority to determine whether the officer will face criminal charges in connection with the shooting, The Press-Enterprise reported.

Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content:

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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