/  09.25.2020

On Wednesday (Sept. 23), a homeless Black man was fatally shot in San Clemente, California by two Orange County sheriff’s deputies. The deputies — who are members of the department’s Homeless Outreach Team — stopped 42-year-old Kurt Andras Reinhold for allegedly jaywalking.

In a cellphone video shared on Twitter, Reinhold told the deputies, “Stop touching me!” while they accused him of jaywalking. “Where did I jaywalk?” the man asks, before one deputy orders him to “go sit down,” pointing to the sidewalk. The video cuts and a verbal and then physical argument ensues, ending in both deputies pinning Reinhold to the ground. Moments later, shots are heard. The deputies reportedly performed live-saving measures on Reinhold, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the sheriff’s department, the shooting occurred three minutes after the deputies first made contact with Reinhold. The department claims Reinhold attempted to grab one of the deputy’s guns during the struggle, though they have refused to release the “surveillance footage” that allegedly proves this, due to the ongoing investigation.

Following the shooting, protests were held around San Clemente demanding accountability from the department. Former San Clemente City Council candidate and local activist Jackson Hinkle shared cellphone video of the shooting on Twitter.

“Clearly these officers lacked the ability to effectively respond to the needs of this homeless man,” he wrote. “The man was trying to walk away, they wouldn’t let him. The officers escalated the situation by body slamming the man on the ground.”

Sgt. Dennis Breckner has only said that the shooting happened after “an altercation broke out” and that he believes only one of the deputies fired their weapon. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has since launched an investigation into the shooting that will run concurrently with the sheriff’s department’s administrative investigation.

Warning: the below video is graphic.


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