Attorneys representing the family of Rueben Galindo say they’ll conduct their own investigation into his shooting. Police video released last week shows the 29-year old Hispanic man had his arms raised above his head as CMPD officers shot and killed him September 6. The lawyers spoke to reporters before last night’s city council meeting.
About 40 people gathered outside the government center all dressed in black. Members of Rueben Galindo’s family were there too, but they weren’t ready to speak to the media. Instead, attorney Brian Hochman did the talking.
"The videos speak for themselves," Hochman said. "This is horrific."
He told reporters that there was a reason the family wanted to make a statement now. He didn’t deny Galindo had a gun. Galindo had called 9-1-1 saying he had one, but with no bullets. CMPD confirmed afterward the gun was not loaded.
"We felt compelled to respond based on some of the information that was put on the internet. Some of the statements were made declaring that he was pointing a gun. Those statements were made before the videos were released and it's clear that he wasn't."
The group filed into the council chambers holding signs some in Spanish, some in English, others just with the image of Galindo’s face. They quietly sat as the council conducted its business. There was no time set aside for public comment. And there was no recognition of the group from any council members during the meeting.
Pastor Ray McKinnon was among the crowd in the chamber. He said he came to show support for Galindo’s family but also because of the questions he has around CMPD’s policies when it comes to using deadly force.
"What’s wrong with the policies that continue to allow police officers to kill black and brown and poor people armed or unarmed?" McKinnon said. "Nothing happens, nothing. The rare occasion when they are charged it’s a hung jury. So the policy is broken, it's time to do something."
Councilwoman Julie Eiselt is head of the Public Safety Committee. She’s seen the footage and calls Galindo’s shooting tragic.
"Like everyone who watches it on TV it’s easy to armchair quarterback that one, so I’m anxious to see what the police report says and how CMPD interprets it," Eiselt said.
The protesters remained silent and most left about 40 minutes into the meeting.