Story Summary

Manteca Police Sued over Deadly Shooting

A graphic police dash cam video was released by the family attorney of a man that was shot and killed by Manteca Police.

In June 2011, Manteca Police had dispatched information to their officers that Ernest Duenez Jr., was a parolee-at-large, and was armed and dangerous after incidents earlier in the day.

The San Joaquin County District Attorney said the officer was justified in using deadly force when Duenez reached into the truck he was ordered to exit.

Duenez’s family’s attorney says he was tangled in a seat belt and only reached in to free himself.

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Local News
04/08/14

Manteca to Pay $2.2M in Settlement After Officer-Involved Shooting

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This is a still frame from the dash cam video from a shooting in Manteca in 2011.

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Manteca has agreed to pay out $2.2 million to settle a lawsuit stemming from a 2011 shooting, in which officers shot and killed a man.

In 2011, Ernesto Duenez was shot 11 times after officers followed him to a Manteca home. Investigators say Duenez was armed with a knife when he got out of the truck, but his family and friends say he was unarmed.

Video taken from one of the officer’s dashboard camera recorded the incident. However, because of where the officer’s car was parked, there is not a clear image of Duenez.

WATCH: Graphic Video Shows Officers Shooting Suspect, Victim’s Family Asks for Federal Investigation

Last year, the San Joaquin District Attorney issued their report on the shooting, and stated the officer was justified in his use of lethal force.

Duenez’s family filed a lawsuit against the city. Although city leaders dispute claims made by the victim’s family about the shooting, they said in a released statement it was seen as appropriate to settle given the expenses and risks of a jury trial.

Attorney Releases Video Showing Officer-Involved Shooting Victim

Manteca Man Charged for Threatening Officer Involved in 2011 Suspect Shooting

Anonymous Threatens to Shut Down Manteca Police Website After Officer Cleared

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Dominic Aguilar was arrested and charged with making a terrorist threat after he said on Facebook, “50 rounds to your dome moody [sic]” but Aguilar’s attorney Tai Bogan says the comment does not classify as a terrorist threat.

“It may have been offensive perhaps and unpopular amongst the police, but unpopular and offensive speech is what the first amendment was made to protect in the first place,” said Bogan.

The comment was directed at Manteca Police officer John Moody, who was recently relieved of all wrong doing after he shot Ernesto Duenez 11 times in 2011.

An investigation into the shooting says Duenez had a knife in his hand when he was getting out of the truck. The officer who fired was cleared by the San Joaquin District Attorney this week, the report stating the officer was justified in his use of lethal force.

The entire incident was caught on tape.

Since Dunez’s death, thousands have supported the his family leaving comments their Facebook page where Aguilar’s once was.

But family and friends can’t explain why Aguilar was targeted when they say others posted similar comments, if not worse.

“That video has two million or more views on the internet and there are thousands and thousands of comments of people angry about it. They are obviously trying to make an example out of Dominic and I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen,” said Bogan.

Bogan took on Aguilar’s case pro bono and says he will fight to the very end.

Aguilar’s case has gained the support of the ACLU.

He is expected to appear in court on Feb. 8.

Ian McDonald contributed to his report.

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Manteca Police are taking threats seriously after “Anonymous,” a widely known “hacktivist” group, threatened to hack into the police department’s public website.

On their YouTube channel, “Annonymous” shows video of Ernesto Duenez Jr. being shot and killed by Manteca Officer John Moody while demanding he be fired.

“Otherwise, Annonymous users will act appropriately with the inevitable shutdown of the official website,” said someone on the site, disguised in a Guy Fawkes mask.

The Manteca Police Department told the Manteca Bulletin that they view this as a valid threat.

The threat comes a little more than a week after Moody was cleared of any wrong doing in the 2011 shooting, where he fired more than a dozen rounds at Duenez.

Since his death, many supported the Duenez family, but never has there been a threat of this magnitude.

The Duenez family says while they appreciate the support, they do not condone any illegal activity.

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The family of a man killed by a Manteca police officer wants to give the public a chance to decide for itself whether or not the shooting was justified by releasing “dash cam” video of the incident.

The video shows Officer John Moody with his gun drawn, commanding Ernest Duenez Jr. to not move.

A report issued this week by the San Joaquin County District Attorney rules the shooting justified. It says the officer was aware that Duenez was a Parolee at Large, armed with a throwing knife.

The DA cites video experts saying a knife is visible upon close inspection.

Members of the Duenez family don’t see a weapon in Ernest’s hands when they watch the video or any sign of Ernest threatening the officer.

“There’s nothing showing this officer, this trained officer, was threatened,” said Duenez’s mother, Rosemary.

Citing a lawsuit pending against them, the City of Manteca and the police department would not comment.

Attorneys representing the family hope, by releasing the “dash cam” video, federal investigators will be implored to do their own analysis.

The family of Ernest Duenez is using graphic police dash cam video of his death to build a federal case. Chris Biele reports.

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This is a still frame from the dash cam video.

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A Manteca police officer has been cleared of wrongdoing this week in a deadly shooting caught on tape. A day later, an attorney has released the video and is asking for a larger investigation into the shooting.

In June 2011, Manteca Police had dispatched information to their officers that Ernest Duenez Jr., was a parolee-at-large, and was armed and dangerous after incidents earlier in the day.

The graphic dash cam video shows an officer pulling up behind a pick-up truck, and Duenez getting out. The officer tells him to put his hands up, then fires off about a dozen shots, hitting Duenez.

While a man and woman remain in the truck, a woman, later identified as Duenez’s wife, comes out from the house and becomes very emotional at the scene.

Eventually, the other people in the truck get out, and other officers arrive on scene. Duenez is given medical aid, however the shooting was deadly.

An investigation into the shooting says Duenez had a knife in his hand when he was getting out of the truck. The officer who fired was cleared by the San Joaquin District Attorney this week, the report stating the officer was justified in his use of lethal force.

However, an attorney representing Duenez’s family says the knife was in the bed of the pickup truck. He also states Duenez’s foot was caught in the seatbelt, preventing him from getting out of the truck. The dash cam video shows officers having to pull Duenez from the sideboard of the truck. He released a copy of the dash cam video to youtube this week.

The attorney has filed a lawsuit against the City of Manteca, the police department, at least two officers, and others claiming excessive force, malicious conduct and wrongful death. They are also asking the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the shooting and file murder charges.

Below is some of the dash cam video. Be aware, even though parts have been blurred, it is still graphic video and could be difficult for some people to watch.

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