(WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO RELEASED BY THE CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT IS CONTAINED IN THIS STORY. FOOTAGE MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL AUDIENCES)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police released the body cam footage Friday from the fatal officer involved shooting of 29-year-old Rueben Galindo.
The footage was released to the media at shortly before 2 p.m. Friday following those who filed a legal request to have access to the footage. Galindo's family, the Mecklenburg District Attorney and the citizen activist group Action NC were among those who viewed the footage earlier.
Raw body camera video from Officer Tran Thompson:
Raw body camera video from Officer Guerra:
Raw body camera video from Officer Batson:
Raw body camera video from Officer Suggs:
Raw body camera video from Officer Shue:
The body cam footage was ordered to be released by a judge following the shooting, even though the investigation was still open. Lawyers for the two officers involved in the shooting argued against releasing the body cam video, saying it could prejudice the selection of jurors if they should ever go to trial.
Galindo was shot and killed September 6 after officers found him armed outside in the parking lot of the Hunters Pointe apartment complex off Sugar Creek Road.
Galindo himself had actually called 911 earlier saying he had a gun and requested a Spanish-speaking officer.
When officers arrived, they found Galindo and said he was armed. The officers said they issued multiple commands for Galindo to drop his weapon. When he refused to drop the weapon, officers perceived an imminent threat and shot him, according to CMPD Chief Kerr Putney.
According to CMPD, Galindo's demeanor and vague responses made it difficult for the Spanish speaking interpreter to determine what specific issue he was calling 911 in reference to.
Following the shooting, CMPD released the names of the two officers involved in the shooting. They were Officer Courtney Suggs and Officer David Guerra. The two officers were placed on leave following the shooting.
"He has his hands in his waistband, they (the officers) began giving him verbal commands to raise his hands. At some point, one of his hands is raised, they see a gun — a handgun," Putney said. "They perceived a lethal threat that's imminent, and at least two officers, we know of right now, fired their weapons."
Medic pronounced Galindo dead on the scene, CMPD said. Per department protocol, Officer Suggs and Officer Guerra were placed on administrative leave. Suggs had been employed with CMPD since December 2014 and Guerra since April 2013.
Galindo stated that he had been consuming alcohol and gave conflicting statements concerning whether he had also taken drugs during his 911 call conversation with the Spanish speaking interpreter.
A toxicology report is still pending.
NBC Charlotte obtained dispatch audio of the moments before and after the shooting.
As officers were heading to the apartment complex, a dispatcher can be heard saying,"Any Spanish-speaking officer that could assist North Tryon on an armed person call?"
After Galindo was shot, an officer can be heard saying to dispatch, "Reference, the suspect is [sic] not moved since we fired."
According to court records, Galindo was supposed to appear in Mecklenburg County court this coming Monday to face a previous charge of misdemeanor assault by pointing a gun.
Investigators recovered the handgun Galindo was allegedly holding at the time of the shooting from the scene. Both officers involved were taken to Carolinas Medical Center University for treatment and are believed to be okay.
A spokesperson for the Galindo family, Hector Vaca, requested a judge to order the release of the video. He is also with Action NC a civic activist group.
"It is horrific. It is a horrific scene to see," said Vaca, "Rueben Galindo followed all the instructions including the fact that he was asked to put his hands in the air...This is unjust."
Chief Kerr Putney said he did not object to releasing the video.
"We had no objections what so ever because all of our interviews have been done, so I think it is a good thing and it is an example of the transparency this community deserves."
CMPD has turned its files on the shooting over to the District Attorney who will now review the files and decide if the shooting was justified. That process is expected to take about three months.
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