VIDEO: Family of man killed in Santa Clara police shooting files civil rights lawsuit

 

SANTA JOSE (KRON) — The family of a man killed in a Santa Clara police shooting is going to court for a second opinion about the shooting.

The Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office has cleared police of any wrongdoing.

Emotions were running high outside the county government center where the young man’s family denounced the shooting as anything but justified.

Amanda Sommers fought back tears as she and her family gathered to denounce Santa Clara police, and the district attorney’s investigation of the Mar. 9 shooting of her son, 24-year-old Jesus Geney-Montes.

“He wasn’t a danger to them,” Sommers said. “Why did they kill my son? That’s the question for me and my family. It’s not easy.”

Police body cam video from Mar. 9 shows Santa Clara police confronting Geney-Montes, whom they thought was armed and suicidal after he had stabbed himself.

The 10 minute-long video ends when Geney-Montes tries to flee and is pursued by Officer Colin Stewart, who then fatally shoots Geney-Montes.

The district attorney’s office found that the shooting was “legally justified.”

The report says Geny-Montes turned toward Officer Stewart and charged toward him while raising his right hand and that “Officer Stewart reasonably believed he had no other means to neutralize the threat than to fire his gun.”

It turns out that Geney-Montes was not armed, and the video shows there was a fence between him and Officer Stewart when he fired.

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The Geney-Montes family complained the video was released to the public before they had a chance to see it, a video they say clearly speaks for itself.

“He was trying to get away from the police,” family friend Laura Valdez said. “He was trying to hide and when he got inside that gate, that’s when you hear the multiple shots. There was no way he could have charged at the police. He was inside. In the report, it said he had a gun, had had nothing in his hands.”

Santa Clara police said they agree with the district attorney’s findings.

And in a text message, a spokesman for the DA’s office said that “any contact with law enforcement that ends in a death is a tragedy.”

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