Southern California cops were responding to a call of a White homeless man with blonde hair swinging a knife when they shot and killed a homeless Hispanic man with a shaved head carrying a stick.
The incident took place on August 9, 2021 but Tustin police just released the bodycam video last month.
The video includes the call to dispatch describing a White man with blonde hair who was swinging a knife and talking to himself two days earlier. The caller told police the man was living in the bushes in front of the trailer park she lived in.
When Tustin police arrived, they were directed to the bushes and encountered Luis Manuel Garcia who was sleeping in the bushes.
Tustin police officer Estella Silva stuck her head into the bushes and ordered him to wake up and step out onto the sidewalk. A male cop stood behind her with his taser drawn. Another male cop stood on the sidewalk about 20 feet away.
Responding in Spanish, Garcia said he was waiting for a friend and collecting recyclables but he eventually steps out holding a long staff which is what made the cops fear for their lives even though he never threatened them with it.
The video shows the male cop fires his taser and Silva fires her gun. Garcia tries to run away but collapses on the sidewalk near the other cop. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Tustin police emphasized the stick he was carrying to justify the shooting but made no mention of a knife so it does not appear they found one in his possession.
Rosalia Becerra, Garcia’s former partner and mother of his two children, told the Los Angeles Times that he used the stick to pick up recyclables.
She also said he suffered from schizophrenia and that he would talk to himself but had never displayed violent tendencies.
Becerra has filed a claim for damages against the city of Tustin on behalf of Garcia’s two daughters, ages 18 and 12, which is the precursor to a lawsuit.
“We want justice for him and for my girls,” Becerra told the L.A. Times.
“(Officer Silva) took away the possibility of my girls having a father. She took away the opportunity for him to get out of the hole that he was in. We want to see justice. We want to see her behind bars. That’s what we’re looking for.”
Watch the video below.