A deputy from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) is facing two counts for continuing to shoot at a suicidal man who had already been shot by police and was lying on the ground, District Attorney George Gascón announced Thursday .
Remin Pineda, who also turned 38 on Thursday, is charged with assault with a semi-automatic firearm and assault under the color of authority for shooting dead 34-year-old David Ordaz Jr. on duty last year.
The case made national headlines, as well as a federal civil rights lawsuit by the Ordaz family, accusing Pineda and three other lawmakers of “using unnecessary and deadly force to unjustly kill the father of three” on March 14, 2021.
His family said Ordaz, who previously had trouble with the police, has mental health issues and plans to commit “suicide at the hands of a police officer” that day. One of Ordaz’s sisters called 911 to ask for help. She told dispatchers that Ordaz said he wanted to die and asked for advice on “what I can do to help.” [him].”
When lawmakers arrived, they found Ordaz sitting in a car outside the family home, reportedly under the influence of methamphetamine. Officers ordered Ordaz to get out of the vehicle, and he emerged with a 12-inch kitchen knife “while telling deputies to shoot him,” according to a summary of the incident released by LASD after Ordaz’s death .
“Deputies called for additional sheriff’s personnel to respond, particularly personnel equipped with less-lethal weapons and a Mental Evaluation Team (MET),” the abstract said. “Members of the MET responded but had not arrived at the time of the shooting. As he continued talking to Ordaz and ordering him to drop the knife, Ordaz moved closer to the deputies and stun grenades were fired at Ordaz.”
Bodycam video shows Ordaz stepping back and turning after being hit by the non-lethal bullets, but when he appeared to quickly turn back to the deputies, they opened fire. Officers shot him “multiple times,” according to Gascón’s office, and immobilized Ordaz, who was holding his shoulder.
“After Ordaz fell to the ground, dropped the knife and lay with his back to the deputies, Pineda is accused of continuing to fire his pistol,” Gascón’s statement said. (The Ordaz family lawsuit alleges that the “killing shot” pierced Ordaz’s chest.)
Ordaz was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Sheriff Alex Villaneuva later said he had “great concerns‘ over the shooting and Pineda was suspended.
Former University of South Carolina police officer and law professor Seth Stoughton told the Los Angeles Times last August that the incident actually seemed exaggerated.
“He was shattered,” Stoughton said. “The last shot has no justification at all.”
The other three officers, who have not been charged with a crime, have been identified by authorities as Deputy Edwin Navarrete, Deputy Jaime Romero and Deputy Nathaniel Trujillo.
Ordaz, who is an amateur boxer, goes by the nicknames “Rembo” and “Pinoy Power” in the ring, according to a 2017 interview he gave to an organization that sanctions fights between police officers, firefighters and other first responders. Ordaz said he’s an ex-Marine, enjoyed riding his 2011 Honda Shadow motorcycle and eating roast meat “Super fries” and named dumb dumber as his favorite movie.
“Unlawful and excessive force by police undermines public confidence and creates further divisions between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve,” Gascón said in Thursday’s announcement, adding that the case is still under investigation. “It is imperative that we hold law enforcement accountable when they act unlawfully. This tragic assassination of Mr Ordaz in the presence of his own family has caused enormous damage that will reverberate for years to come.”
Ordaz, who has no attorney listed in court filings, could not be reached for comment Thursday. His indictment is not yet scheduled.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/los-angeles-sheriffs-deputy-remin-pineda-charged-with-shooting-david-ordaz?source=articles&via=rss Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff Remin Pineda is accused of shooting David Ordaz