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Authorities discuss, release new video from recent police shooting in Sunnyvale

Six days after an officer shot and killed a man in Sunnyvale, the city’s police chief answered questions and released a new video showing the confrontation.

Saturday’s shooting left 19-year-old Emmanual Becerra dead and his family sais it didn’t have to happen. 

“The Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety takes any loss of life very seriously,” said Chief Phan Ngo. 

It’s the first fatal shooting by an officer in Sunnyvale in seven years.

The chief also released dispatch audio showing Becerra calling 911 on himself, telling the operator that a naked man was walking around a mobile home park with a kitchen knife.

The department also released dash cam and body cam footage showing officers repeatedly ordering Becerra to drop a knife.

The chief said that after repeatedly walking away, Becerra turned and walked right at the officer.

The video, edited by the department, pauses right before the shooting when Becerra appears to start running toward the officer holding what appears to be a knife.

“This is an active investigation right now so we’re limited on what we can say but as you can see from the videos, the officers attempted multiple methods of de-escalation,” said Ngo.

Becerra’s mother, Esmeralda Perez, spoke with NBC Bay Area’s sister station Telemundo 48. She said “it was unnecessary, they should’ve employed other methods to help people suffering a mental health crisis but they didn’t … This was an injustice. They destroyed our lives. We will never be whole again.”

The police chief said that at this point he can’t share his views on what happened.

“Our department and the district attorney’s office, we’re still gathering all the facts and I think it would be premature for me to give an opinion one way or the other,” said Ngo. 

Police say they’ve had contact with Becerra twice in the past.

Once when he was a victim of a crime, and the other time was two years ago, for a non-violent call.

The department has also identified the officer involved in the shooting as Kevin Lemos, saying he’s been with the department more than three years.

It will now be up to the district attorney’s office to determine whether the officer’s decision to shoot was justified.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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