Eyewitness footage contradicts police statement

Adan Salazar
April 30, 2014

Long Beach police worked in tandem with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to execute a fleeing suspect Sunday, later releasing a statement that has been contradicted by eyewitness footage of the events.

This past weekend, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were summoned to a Target store in Compton to deal with a scissor-wielding criminal who then fled, leading them on a 15-minute car chase which ended in Long Beach.

WARNING: Graphic video and language

Man exits vehicle at 1:54 in the video.

In footage that appeared Monday on Youtube, 36-year-old Jason Conoscenti can be seen exiting his vehicle carrying a large wooden stick, while the officers who chased him stay back.

Conoscenti suddenly takes off on foot towards the beach, running down a flight of stairs with a police K9 in pursuit.

Seconds later, he is shot in the back and a barrage of other shots ring out before he collapses lifeless at the bottom of the stairs.

People watching the events unfold can be overheard exclaiming, “Wow, are you kidding me?” and several people ask if anyone is going to help him.

Disturbingly, Conoscenti is left to writhe in pain at the bottom of the stairs for close to a minute and a half before anyone comes to render aid. Finally, four Long Beach officers emerge with guns trained on him.

Long Beach police say they were at the foot of the stairs when Conoscenti ran down and that they’re the ones that employed lethal force to stop the man, who they believed was emerging from a gunfight with police when they encountered him fleeing.

Statements from both Long Beach PD and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department say deputies attempted to employ non-lethal Stunbag rounds in an attempt to subdue the suspect. These shots can be heard in another video that appeared online yesterday:

However, Long Beach PD’s statement adds that officers observed Conoscenti “reaching for his waist band,” when the video clearly shows this not to be the case.

Former LAPD detective Tim Williams told NBC Los Angeles the shooting did not need to happen.

“I do not see (the suspect) reach his waist band at all,” Williams told KNBC. “From my observations from looking at this video tape, (the shooting) is not justified, I think it’s objectively unreasonable and it’s, my opinion, is excessive force.”

As we witnessed last year during the manhunt for ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, in which a two-day search was ended by incinerating the cabin the alleged cop killer holed up in, police are more often resorting to lethal force to bring situations to a close, confident they can carry out the roles of judge, jury and executioner with impunity.

As Alex Jones explained following the shooting of Brandon M. Boyd, who was executed by the Albuquerque Police Department for doing little more than camping in a park, the militarization of police is getting dangerous and out of control, and will continue to do so until police realize they are destroying the lives they’re entrusted to protect.

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