Houston Police Kill Unarmed Man, Allegedly Took Witness' Cellphone When She Tried to RecordSubmitted by emalvini on Fri, 07/13/2012 - 23:12
Houston Police Kill Unarmed Man, Allegedly Took Witness' Cellphone When She Tried to Record
Lucy Steigerwald | July 13, 2012
On July 9, Houston police fatally shot Rufino Lara. Police are asking media and citizens to hold onto their opinions until the investigation is completed, but in the meantime we do know that two witnesses (one of whom, a 14-year-old boy, didn't know Lara) are disputing police officers' account of the confrontation.
According to the Houston Chronicle:
Houston Police Department officials said Rufino Lara refused officer J. McGowan's commands in Spanish and English to stop when she spotted him walking away while she was investigating an assault Monday afternoon. He kept one of his hands tucked under his shirt, police said. When he turned around suddenly with his hand still under his shirt, McGowan shot him once, killing him, police said.
Florida Ruvio, a family friend, bumped into Lara on his way back from a liquor store near the 7000 block of Bissonnet near Fondren in southwest Houston. Lara told her that some men were chasing him with a knife and asked her to call police.
When two officers arrived to investigate the assault report, they approached Lara, asking him to stop and put his hands up.
"They were speaking to him in English only," Ruvio said at a news conference
In an all-too-familiar detail, there are also reports that a cellphone with which Ruvio attempted to film the aftermath of the shooting was taken from her. Police have not released the video, if it still exists or if it show anything relevant. However, the theft of the phone provoked harsh criticism from the Texas branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.