Caught on Film?

By Tommy A. Purvis

11
Posted February 21, 2013 in News

Cops say they shot a dangerous parolee in Temecula—but alleged video footage and conflicting accounts muddy the waters

Twenty-four hours before law enforcement made what several social media critics feel was an organized effort to blackout media coverage to the fiery end of the Christopher Dorner manhunt near Big Bear, another fugitive from justice—29-year-old John Christopher Armes of Fallbrook—was shot and killed by a still unnamed parole officer in Temecula.

What makes this case interesting—even odd—is the fact that at least two claims have arisen stating that an unnamed bystander videotaped the Temecula incident, and that this footage purportedly shows the shooting was unjustified. Naturally, the authorities deny that anything like this happened.

Word of the footage allegedly taken at the Feb. 11 scene—the residential neighborhood along the 40200 block of Mimulus Way—by an unnamed citizen with a camera phone was first made public on the Facebook comment section of The Press-Enterprise article that detailed the official (read: police) version of the shooting.

Luis Patino, a spokesperson for the the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), told the Weekly that Armes was under surveillance at the Extended Stay Inn at Jefferson Avenue and Overland Drive with jurisdictional assistance from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Armes—who was reported to have a gun—left the hotel in a mini-van taxi with a female at 12:30 that afternoon. Authorities followed the cab for a few minutes before making an effort to capture the parolee-at-large that was wanted for assault with a deadly weapon. The driver fled on foot. The fugitive momentarily took control of the vehicle before he hit—a minor collision—an unmarked police vehicle. Armes was fatally shot after he exited the taxi.

Corrections officials told The Press-Enterprise that Armes was trying to escape and appeared to have been reaching for a weapon. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit and the Department of Corrections Deadly Force Investigations Team is investigating the officer-involved shooting. A spokesperson from either agency would not reveal if Armes was in fact found to be armed. The Office of the Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review (BIR) was also made aware of the shooting.

Shortly after The Press-Enterprise article was posted online, “Jennifer Hammons” posted the following comment:

“Maybe the BIR should review the video taken of the shooting taken by a bystander. The video didn’t appear to justify the shooting of what appears to be shots to the suspect’s back while running away from the undercover officers. Suspect in the video, did not appear too have a weapon . . . “

The following morning user “alaRobear” posted the following comment on a news article from the Southwest Riverside News Network (SWRNN) website:

“ . . . Why did they arrest the innocent bystander who was videotaping the whole incident? From all my info, he heard the shots, stopped what he was doing and started recording. Then the officer turned and saw him, walked over and asked him if he was recording. When the person said, no the officer asked to have his phone. He said no, he couldn’t have it. The officer got mad and put him in cuffs & took him in to the station . . .”

Carlos Miller, an activist multimedia journalist based in Miami who runs the the First Amendment rights Photography is Not a Crime (PINAC) blog, was first to report about the alleged footage. Miller became aware of the “alaRobear” and “Hammons” postings, and posted their claims/questions on his blog.

Kerri Mabee, editor of SWRNN, told the Weekly that her own news agency didn’t get on the scene until about five hours after the shooting.

Finally—of all people—law enforcement confirmed what everyone had been saying. Sgt. Lisa McConnell of the Riverside Sheriff Department told the Weekly via email that a bystander who wishes to remain anonymous had in fact been filming from the scene of the shooting. But she told the Weekly that the agency did not arrest the person, and her agency not become aware of the footage until after the incident. No Sherriff’s Department personnel ordered the bystander to stop filming as authorities didn’t know the incident was being recorded until afterward, she said.

So, apparently, there was someone filming the incident, and that somebody (who remains unknown) was supposedly not arrested. But it doesn’t answer the question of whether or not the footage shows whether the police shooting was justified or not.

On Feb. 13, a “Mr temecula” posted a comment under Mabee’s Feb. 12 account of the shooting: “why the f*** did the[y] shoot him?

Neither the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department or the CDCR will comment further on the shooting as these agencies say the investigation is still pending.


11 Comments


  1.  
    Hideseeq

    If you are this filming bystander, please come forward. The police should not be allowed to destroy evidence that implicates them.




  2.  
    keith

    Typical police action, arrest an innocent bystander for recording their actions!! If they weren’t doing anything wrong, why would they even care if anyone was recording anything, let alone their actions!!! Go ahead and shoot him in the back, nobody is looking!!! Maybe, except for the guy with the camera doing the recording!! No wonder those pricks arrested him on bogus trumped up charges!!! They sure had something to hide huh??? I guess that’s the only way their able to cover up their illicit actions when they’re caught!! Just think of all the rest of the dirty things they’re doing that their getting away with, daily too!! Bastards!!! Unlawful punks!!




    •  
      keith

      Typical police action, arrest an innocent bystander for recording their actions!! If they weren’t doing anything wrong, why would they even care if anyone was recording anything, let alone their actions!!! Go ahead and shoot him in the back, nobody is looking!!! Maybe, except for the guy with the camera doing the recording!! No wonder those pricks arrested him on bogus trumped up charges!!! They sure had something to hide huh??? I guess that’s the only way their able to cover up their illicit actions when they’re caught!! Just think of all the rest of the dirty things they’re doing that their getting away with, daily too!! Bastards!!! Unlawful punks!!




  3.  
    brandon armea

    please if you have a video of this email me im his brother start
    r01rose11@yahoo.com




  4.  
    cheryl langenhorst~harris

    This is very common at this time. my little brother had had a confrontation with Ontario Police 35 years ago…he served his time…and that in itself irritated officers in the IE. after several “failed” attempts on his life while incarcerated officers harassed him repeatedly upon his release. Problem was, he was being a good citizen, fueling their fire, after all he had shot at their own 35 years ago, this MUST be finished was apparently their thoughts. Well, unfortunately opportunity presented itself on March 16, 2013 when my baby brother purchased a truck from “George” a wanted murderer, and went about his life of work and school, until the truck was spotted after a false call to police led to the chase, and of course being out of prison after 35 years and a loaded gun chasing you, he took off, knowing the police would do exactly as they had warned, and would kill him at first chance. My brother was NOT the wanted Fugative, as a matter of fact, they had nothing then, and still have NO case against Jeffrey Langenhorst, my brother! But you see after putting their time into chasing a “stolen truck” , and by the way, my brother did not apprehend an idling “big rig” but in fact a good samaritan said “here take my Golf cart” which he was using in an Industrial type park, and Jeff took it for a spin toward those chasing him, only to be murdered repetedly in cold blood by those scorned officers who now are sorry, it was a mistakin identity…fortunately there is footage of this incident as well…come on you guys…EVERYONE HAS A CELL NOW DAYS…YOU ARE BUSTED!! Everyone in the california penal system knew the “power” my brother had on the inside, and felt justified carrying it into the streets, officers calling their family members to bragg that they killed public enemy number One, and in turn those family members, with colorful history of their own desperately seeks attention therefore feels the undying urge to be the bearer of bad news, because that’s what he likes to do, and gets something off in the process quickly makes phone calls to OUR family members letting us know that Jeff is Dead, but don’t rat out me or my out of protocol family because it will cause trouble, therefore WE are calling the Detectives BEFORE they are calling us, and during their slow moving Investigators, we had the opportunity to view quite an elaborate turn of events other than those detailed to us by the officers justifying their most recent execution. Modern technology…DON’T YOU ALL JUST LOVE IT TO DEATH! LITERALLY. You get it..you keep it, let them write their shoddy report months down the line, and then you take your little SIM card to God and play it proudly. Please everyone, these senseless murders have to stop! Keep your eyes peeled for a flick that will simply amaze you and all you send it to…the internet will be flooded and the truth will be out in the open. Nothing that is shown will ever bring back my brother, but perhaps if even one editor is affected by the lies they were told and felt the need to print putting down my family name then perhaps we are making progress…and NEVER forget these little pix and flix hold a very high monitary value NEVER HAND IT OVER TO ANYONE WHO APPOINTED THEMSELVES EXECUTIONER!! Everyone will be judged another day, but the should be judged, just as you or i would be, if they put themselves in the position of Judge, Jury, Executioners, and God himself. Keep um rollin everyone! The killings by officers must stop, they are not intelligent or trained enough to deal with the realities of fear and fight or flight…we all have it in our nature, just pray YOUR car doesn’t resemble an automobile that was reported stolen by a distraught x~piece of had to have it that you recently dumped for a much better model more attractive and alot sexier and has a brain and everything, becuase you just may find yourself as the Prize of the day, as they give chase to your car and chase you down, as you are knowing,,today I am going to die, for no apparent reason, hang onto that footage kids, believe me..it will be a totally different story than the square letter police reoprt at the end of just another day on the beat! I love it…they are so amped up by the fact that they are going to get to murder someone that they lose all consciousness of whats going on around them, now that’s a scary thought. Precisely why EVERYONE WITH A BRAIN should carry a cell phove, video cam and a gun!!! Let’s take a stand, we’re NOT going to take this senselessness anymore, hands on the table…GAME OVER… and always remember Civil suits, Wrongful Death suits, and simply stalking prey with intent to murder are always ways to re-up new supplies for the next murder someone will witness! My brother was not an angel by any means, but he served his time…all of it, but you are NEVER FREE, people with “I will win this fight” mentality should be made to pay inside the same walls as other murders, where does it say get a badge kill the innocent…i don’t know, but it obviously says it somewhere. Protect your loved ones, they don’t care who’s life they take, they just justify it as an accident??? My brother was loved by everyone who truly knew him and is missed dearly, feel free to post in his Memory book in Rememberus site. God Bless! I was his “Sissy”, now I’m not! and the pain is tremendous, and almost impossible to accept.





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