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Albuquerque Man shot by officers was armed with knife, metal pipe, Police Claim



The man whom officers shot and killed in a vacant apartment off East Central a week and a half ago had jumped out at them from a closet, armed with a 3-inch knife and a metal pipe, officials from the Albuquerque Police Department said Tuesday.

In an afternoon news conference with interim Police Chief Michael Geier, Lt. Ray Del Greco of the Force Investigation Team, laid out the circumstances that led to the shooting.

Del Greco said eight seconds elapsed between the time when 24-year-old Daniel Saavedra-Arreola leapt out of the closet in an “ambush style attack” and when he was shot dead on the scene.

The lieutenant said four officers fired a total of 17 times, although he did not know yet how many times Saavedra-Arreola had been struck. Saavedra-Arreola was identified as Daniel Arreola-Saavedra last week by his father, and has used many variations of his name in court records.

Although the shooting unfolded in eight seconds, the call started nearly an hour and 40 minutes earlier, Del Greco said. He said all four officers – Amy O’Dell, Elisa Valdez, Emmett Fritz and Bryce Willsey – had their lapel video cameras running the entire time, and he played snippets of those videos. The full videos will be released to the public today.

Del Greco said shortly before midnight on Jan. 6, an apartment manager of the Luna Lodge complex on Central, east of Wyoming, called police to say he had seen and heard a man break into a vacant unit in the back northwest corner. When the officers arrived, they made announcements for more than an hour to try to get the suspect to exit but were unsuccessful.

Daniel Saavedra-Arreola, 24 (Courtesy of Jesse Arreola)

He said the officers eventually decided to enter the apartment and cleared each room and closet before entering the back bedroom.

“They weren’t fully sure there was even someone in the room,” Del Greco said. “They took their time in clearing the place. The fact that someone was actually in that room was not priority in their mind. At that time this was just another house they were clearing.”

But shortly after they entered the bedroom, the video shows Saavedra-Arreola jumping out of the closet into the room, erratically swinging a knife and a metal pipe at an officer and backing him into a corner. One of the officers deployed a Taser but it did not immediately appear to have an effect.

Del Greco said all four officers in the room fired. A sergeant, Andrew Quillmann, was also on the scene but not in the room and did not shoot.

An APD spokesman, Gilbert Gallegos, said all of the officers were put on paid administrative leave, which is standard, and two have since returned to work.

O’Dell is a 9-year veteran of the department. Valdez has been with the department four and a half years, Willsey more than two years and Fritz for a year and a half. Only Willsey has been involved in a prior shooting. He shot at an attacking dog about six months ago.

Lt. Ray Del Greco, on the Force Investigation team, details the circumstances and surroundings that led up to officers shooting and killing a man hiding in a vacant apartment Jan. 7. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

Saavedra-Arreola’s history with police includes a conviction for conspiracy to commit second degree murder in the Downtown shooting of a 16-year-old in 2011. He was released from prison in July.

More recently he had been charged with armed robbery of a Church’s Chicken restaurant in early October. A judge denied a request by the District Attorney’s Office to hold him until trial and he was released from jail with an ankle monitor in late October.

In mid-December, police say Saavedra-Arreola cut off the ankle monitor and he was wanted on a warrant at the time of the shooting.

However, Del Greco said officers on the scene did not know any of that.

Attorneys representing Saavedra-Arreola’s father, Jesse Arreola, filed a tort claims notice to the city Tuesday morning indicating an intention to file a lawsuit. Chief Geier said he had not heard about it yet, but it is not uncommon for families to do so.

Attorney Greg Payne said Saavedra-Arreola was homeless and had not been a threat to anyone before the officers entered the apartment. He questioned the fact that the officers only gave the Taser two or three seconds to take effect before they opened fire.

“It appears once they had that encounter and confrontation everyone freaked out,” Payne said.

However, Geier stood by the officers, saying the videos showed that they were in danger in the tight quarters of the apartment.

“We think they acted appropriately and heroically defending not only themselves, but that one officer especially who was backed into a corner, facing possible injury from a stabbing type assault,” Geier said.

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WATCH: Copwatch | Gang Unit Vehicle Stop Foot Bail | Tossed Gun | Man Tasered



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POLICE claim Man said ‘shoot me’ twice before he was shot to death by police, Audio Experts Heard Different



Las Vegas Metro police shot and killed a 22-year-old man early Friday morning after he reached for a weapon and defied commands repeatedly, police said.


Officers Francisco Rivera, 28, and Padilla Mills, 23, were involved in the shooting in the 200 block of Madge Lane, near Charleston Boulevard and Sloan Lane.

Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Monday said officers were on their way to another call when they spotted Junior David Lopez driving recklessly with two women in a blue Chrysler 300.

“Hey, what are you doing? Stay in the car man,” one of the officers yelled. “Stay in the ****ing car! Don’t move! Do not ****ing move!”

When officers stopped the vehicle, Lopez got out of the vehicle with a Smith and Wesson Bodyguard .380 firearm in his hand then tossed it on the ground, police said.

Zimmerman said Lopez defied officers’ commands to put his hands up and step away from the weapon. Instead Lopez grabbed the firearm and raised it, he said.

“Hey, get away from the gun!” officers yelled. “Do not move! Don’t reach for the gun, man. Do not reach the gun.”

Officers believe the body camera footage shows Lopez twice saying the words “shoot me.”

“I don’t know what was going through his head, but he was given ample opportunity to be taken into custody and he wasn’t,” Zimmerman said.

Officers Rivera and Mills both fired their weapons. Lopez fell to the ground and rolled over. Police say he reached for the guns once more. Officer Mills fired one more round, striking Lopez.

“We’re going to need medical for the subject,” one of the officers said, over his radio. “He’s reaching. Don’t reach for it! … His 4-13 is about one foot from his left hand. Don’t!”

Lopez was taken to Sunrise Hospital where he later died at 5:15 a.m.

The two women in the car were not injured. One was Lopez’ girlfriend and the owner of the vehicle. The other was a friend.

Both women on Monday night.

“I remember when we got pulled over they told us to get the **** out of the car, for him to get the **** out of the car. Why don’t I hear that in the video?” said Lopez’s girlfriend, Amber. “He was the best thing in my life… He said, ‘Don’t shoot me. Don’t shoot me. Don’t shoot me.’ You can’t hear the don’t, but you can hear him. ‘Don’t shoot me. Don’t shoot me.'”

Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman said 22-year-old Junior Lopez told officers to shoot him, twice.

“I don’t know what was going through his head but he was given ample opportunity to be taken into custody and he wasn’t.”

Lopez’s girlfriend said he was yelling, “Don’t shoot me!”

Lopez’s girlfriend also says officers told him to get out of the car… before they yelled at him to get back in the car. She argues that the first portion was conveniently cut out of the video released today.

“Everything they said is not true,” said Jorge Luis Martinez, Lopez’s father. “The video is not complete. ”

Lopez had one prior charge for false statement to a police officer in North Las Vegas in 2016

Both officers have been employed with Metro since May 2016. They are both assigned to the Community Policing Division Northeast Area Command. They were both placed on routine paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

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Freedom of Speech Everywhere except a Courthouse so Says the US Attorney General



How an anti-illegal immigration YouTuber turned a $280 fine into a federal criminal trial

How an anti-illegal immigration YouTuber turned a $280 fine into a federal criminal trial

Gary Gileno

Gary Gileno is shown outside the federal courthouse on Friday before his trial. Gileno was fighting a $280 citation for failing to comply with orders while trying to bring a video camera into a L.A. County Sheriff oversight meeting in 2017. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)


It began as a $280 citation for using a video camera in a courthouse.

But to Gary Gileno, at stake was much more than the couple hundred bucks he was told to pay.

An attorney for the anti-illegal immigration activist and prolific YouTuber told a judge Friday that the four-hour trial over the fine was really about preventing government abuse of power, protecting the rights of journalists and ensuring that citizens can hold public officials accountable.

“If he is convicted … it’ll chill speech, it’ll chill journalism, it’ll say the federal government has a superpower to do whatever it wants,” attorney William Becker said. “This is unprecedented. This is what we expect to see in a police state.”

A federal prosecutor dismissed the rhetoric, arguing the Class C misdemeanor charge was simply about Gileno’s refusal to follow a security officer’s orders.

The unusual legal battle came after Gileno, 32, tried to bring a video camera into a meeting of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission last year. California law specifically allows the public to use recording devices at such meetings, but the commission’s meeting in August was held at a federal appellate court building where filming is prohibited.

Someone just detained at federal courthouse, where public Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission meeting takin place, 4 trying 2 take pic

The commission, a civilian panel set up to monitor the Sheriff’s Department and listen to public concerns about the agency, had been gathering in different locations around the county since it began meeting in January 2017. This was the first time commissioners had met at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals building in Pasadena.

As Gileno entered the courthouse, deputy U.S. marshals told him he had to leave his camera in his car. Gileno insisted he had a right to record the meeting under the First Amendment and the state’s open meetings law, known as the Brown Act, and began filming the officers.

They responded by handcuffing and detaining him for about an hour.

After Gileno was cited, Robert C. Bonner, a former federal judge who chairs the commission, told The Times he wasn’t aware of certain provisions of the state’s open meetings law and relied on the county’s lawyers for legal advice.

Rather than pay the fine, Gileno opted to take his case to trial, facing a penalty of up to a $10,000 fine and 30 days in jail if found guilty.

Gileno, who began his YouTube career after showing up at his local council meeting in West Covina, said he has made a living off of his channel in recent years. His copious videos — 3,237 and counting — focus primarily on denouncing illegal immigration and promoting supporters of President Trump. His criminal case may have been a boon for his channel — a recent screed on his own prosecution was viewed more than 10,000 times.

On Friday, two court security officers who clashed with Gileno took the stand and testified that there were signs clearly posted saying photography wasn’t allowed in the courthouse. They said Gileno grew belligerent and disruptive, turning on his camera after being warned several times that it was not allowed.

Testifying in his own defense, Gileno said he was a freelance citizen journalist who has attended and filmed local government meetings and legislative town halls for about five years.

“I believe in the United States of America, you should be able to keep tabs on the government,” he said.

In more than 250 other public meetings he attended, he said, he never had an issue with bringing in his video camera. He said the security officer all of a sudden “exploded” at him, so he turned on his camera “to document what I felt was a violation of my rights at the time.”

Assistant U.S. Atty. Benedetto Lee Balding said Gileno’s disruption of security officers working at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was no small matter. It was Gileno who escalated the encounter by refusing to go along with the officers’ orders, he said.

“He decided unilaterally he didn’t have to follow the rules,” the prosecutor said.

Becker, who primarily represents conservatives and Christians in free-speech cases, worked for free on Gileno’s case. He argued that the federal courthouse essentially became a “limited public forum” when it hosted the commission meeting, which Gileno should have been allowed to film under the state law.

Magistrate Judge Jean P. Rosenbluth said she could understand why Gileno was angry and frustrated given his past experience filming the meetings, but she said that didn’t excuse his failure to follow orders. Security at the appellate courthouse, where justices could be filmed without their knowledge, was a serious concern, the judge said.

“Even if these seem arbitrary or don’t make any sense to Mr. Gileno or anybody else, clearly they serve this very important purpose,” Rosenbluth said, finding Gileno guilty.

Acknowledging that a “misunderstanding” had led to the kerfuffle, the prosecutor recommended a sentence of no fine, which would leave Gileno having to pay just $35 in court fees. Rosenbluth said she felt the need for “some consequences” and ordered Gileno to pay a $50 fine, bringing his total penalty to $85 with the fees.

Gileno said he was “outraged” and “astounded.” After the verdict, he turned to nine supporters in the audience, including a man in a red “Make California Great Again” hat, and exclaimed, “I was never read my rights!”

His attorney said they would seriously consider an appeal and possibly a civil lawsuit against the government.

“What the judge just said is if a city council can move to a federal building, they can keep the meeting secret,” Gileno said. “That’s grossly illegal.”

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