Newly released body camera footage shows how little time a man had to react to police officers’ orders before he was fatally shot, with both of his hands visibly in the air.
Rueben Galindo was shot and killed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers in September. The 29-year-old man stood in his doorway with both arms raised up. Just three seconds after officers told him to put a weapon to the ground, they opened fire.
The entire ordeal, which is now available for the public to see, shows an escalated situation that doesn't seem too threatening. For example, Galindo lifting his hands demonstrates his willingness to listen to officers and pose no imminent harm to them during the incident.
The last warning to put the weapon down was followed by officers’ gunshots, almost immediately after the order was given.
You can watch the incident and judge for yourself in the video below.
WARNING: This video contains graphic content that may not be appropriate for all viewers.
The incident is increasingly alarming given that Galindo told officers, prior to being shot, that he didn’t have any bullets in his weapon. The video also makes clear that Galindo never threatened the safety of the officers as he never pointed his weapon at them.
Galindo’s family released a statement following the release of the video.
"This is a tragic loss. This was avoidable. The recordings knew what we already knew. Rueben was seeking help. He repeatedly stated, he had no bullets. Despite prior statements, Ruebens [sic] hands were in the air. We will work [with] authorities to insure [sic] a [thorough] investigation is concluded so justice can be achieved for Ruben [sic]. At this time we ask that our privacy be respected so we can try to cope with this situation."
While there are many police officers across the nation who do an excellent job of keeping us safe, time and again we are reminded that there are fissures in many departments throughout the country.
A true conversation on the fair treatment of suspects, regardless of their racial background or any other identifying trait, needs to be addressed.
Too many people of color are dying at the hands of law enforcement — and it’s far past time that we take the necessary steps to mend the broken system.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters, Lucy Nicholson