In San Diego, Wild Discrepancies Between Video Footage And A Police Report
Voice of San Diego has a head-spinning story of a policing debacle involving a late-night cop patrol, two Peruvian-American brothers and a break-in that wasn't.
Late one night in July, Luis and Diego Lobaton were rushed by San Diego police; Luis was beaten up and arrested. Their crime: walking into their family's store, to which they had keys, after a cigarette break. H.G. Reza reports:
"There was no 911 call, no worried neighbors who drew the officers there that night. Police on patrol simply watched the brothers separately take out keys and enter the store, and decided something nefarious was in the works. The whole thing went down because of a suspected burglary in the brothers' own home."
But where this story really goes off the rails is in the miles of sunlight between the police report and the video footage from the store's surveillance camera, according to Voice of San Diego's analysis:
There are also notable discrepancies between the family's account of what happened and what the police report says:
The family also argues that it doesn't make sense for Luis to get in a fistfight with the cops, or anybody, because he has a brain tumor. Hedy and her 3-year-old son, who also witnessed the incident, are in therapy, and she is facing possible deportation to Peru. Luis says the minutelong confrontation left him with memory loss and neck pain.
The charges against Luis and his mother were eventually dropped. And while the police report claims that Luis told police officers that he appreciated the officers' concern for his mom's store, Hedy and the Lobaton brothers have filed a claim against the police department, which is already under scrutiny.
"The Police Department has faced numerous charges of officer misconduct in recent years, and a federal review of the department's misconduct policies is due later this month. Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman has instituted reforms aimed at cracking down on misconduct, including outfitting officers with body cameras. The family says that the officers weren't wearing them the night of the incident; SDPD would not confirm whether any of the officers were wearing them or not."
Go read Voice of San Diego's in-depth investigation, which includes two videos contradicting the police reports. The investigation also reveals that five months after the July incident, San Diego police once again followed one of the brothers into the same store, telling their mother he was "acting suspicious."
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.