In April 2017, 16-year-old Isiah Murrietta-Golding was running away from police officers when he was shot in the back of the head in Fresno, Calif. The shooting was ruled justified after an investigation because Murrietta-Golding reached for his waistband to pull his pants up — until now.
This week, an attorney for the family released graphic video footage from a backyard camera that clearly depicts the shooting of the teenage boy by Fresno Police Sgt. Ray Villalvazo.
Warning: This video contains graphic content.
“A picture is worth a thousand words, and this video is worth a million words,” Stuart Chandler, an attorney for the teenager’s father, told The Washington Post on Thursday. “It’s clear this shooting was not justified. He was running away, holding up his pants, posing no threat to anybody.”
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Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall has continued to defend the shooting, despite the release of the new video showing Murrietta-Golding was simply running away and not reaching into his waistband for a gun. Hall said in a statement that the teenager was allegedly “known to carry firearms.”
An ambulance attendant who tended to the gaping wound in the back of Murietta-Golding’s head after he had been shot asked for his handcuffs to be removed, a report filed by the employee said. According to Chandler, the officers refused. The teenager died in the hospital three days later.
Neither Villalvazo or the other officer were wearing body cameras at the time of the shooting, Chandler told the Post.
Just months before Murrietta-Golding was killed, the Fresno Police Department said it was changing its deadly force policy. Officers would be authorized to shoot if they felt there was an “immediate” threat, rather than an “imminent” threat, the Fresno Bee reported.
This shooting appeared to violate that policy.
The teenager’s parents have filed a lawsuit against the city and the police department, according to the Post. It accuses the departments of unlawful deadly force, assault and battery, and negligence.
“He was treated like less than human,” Chandler said.