Jesus Rodriguez (Full Name: Jesus Antonio Rodriguez) Died In Moreno Valley Police Shooting At Home On 24000 Block of Filaree Avenue
MORENVO VALLEY, CALIFORNIA (February 7, 2023) – A 33-year-old man identified as Jesus Rodriguez was killed in a Moreno Valley police shooting at a home on Filaree Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Riverside County officials are saying that the shooting took place around 12:30 p.m. on Monday. Officers were called to the scene after receiving reports of a “mentally disturbed” man who was identified as Jesus Rodriguez.
The suspect’s mother told officers that her son suffered from schizophrenia and was under the influence of an unknown substance. When officers arrived, they encountered the suspect who allegedly grabbed a baseball bat with a sharp metal object at the end.
One deputy fired a stun gun, but it was not effective. A second officer opened fire after the suspect allegedly began walking towards them.
Paramedics were called to the scene in order to help the suspect. Despite life-saving measures, Jesus Rodriguez was pronounced dead at the scene.
The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave as an investigation continues.
Liability For Moreno Valley Police Shootings
California has one of the highest instances of deadly police encounters in the United States. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, Nearly 200 Californians are killed every year during police encounters. More than 40% of suspects who are treated for non-fatal gunshot wounds following police encounters were diagnosed with a mental health condition or substance abuse disorder. In fact, suspects with an untreated mental illness were more than 16 times more likely to be killed during police encounters than the general population. There are a number of steps that can be taken to help reduce the number of fatal police shootings in the United States.
- Police officers should receive ample training that focuses heavily on de-escalation techniques.
- There should be increased transparency regarding use of force incidents with officers.
- Police officers should receive mental health and substance abuse resources.
Police officers in California must do everything in their power to fulfill their job duties with great care and prudence. According to California Penal Code 835a. (1), all officers must respect the dignity and sanctity of human life. In general, deadly force may only be used when necessary to defend human life. When a California police officer uses excessive force this could form the basis of a negligence claim. An officer’s pre-shooting conduct can render their use of lethal force unreasonable under California law – even if it appeared reasonable when viewed in isolation.
California law has broader protections against excessive force than those offered by the Fourth Amendment. Consider, for example, Tabares v. City of Huntington Beach (9th Cir., Feb. 17, 2021, No. 19-56035) 2021 WL 609854. There are police protocols in place for California officers who are dealing with mentally ill suspects. These policies are outlined in California’s Peace Officer Standards and Training (“P.O.S.T.”). Officers are required to (1) request backup, (2) calm the situation, (3) avoid physical contact, (4) determine if the suspect is taking medication, (5) acknowledge the suspect’s feelings and (6) not make any threats.
An officer’s “failure to follow a safety rule promulgated by his employer, regardless of its substance, serves as evidence of negligence.” See, for example, Grudt, 468 P.2d at 831 (citation omitted); see also People v. Brown, 245 Cal. App. 4th 140, 171 (Ct. App. 2016). A large number of fatal police shootings are simply due to officers that are poorly trained to handle the very tense situation that their in. As such, many fatal police shootings in California are preventable. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any fatal police encounter.
- Body camera footage from all officer’s involved should be reviewed.
- It should be determined if a police officer knew that a suspect was mentally ill.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Medical records should be preserved.
- A thorough investigation should be conducted.
It can be hard to know where to begin after any fatal police shooting. Police departments will often do their best to claim that the actions of their officers were perfectly justified. But far too often this is not the case. The family of any person that is killed in a police shooting may have legal recourse through California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. A wrongful death attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating A Moreno Valley Police Shooting
We at the Carrillo Law Firm, LLP extend our deepest condolences to the family of Jesus Rodriguez. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. There needs to be some accountability for what happened for the sake of the victim’s family. It is our sincere hope that California peace officers will receive better training so that other tragedies like this may be prevented.
Do you need more information about a Moreno Valley police shooting? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that victims of excessive force are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 626-799-9375.