Judge’s order temporarily prevents public from seeing surveillance video of Costco shooting in Corona

 In blog, Crime News: Los Angeles Daily News

Judge’s order temporarily prevents public from seeing surveillance video of Costco shooting in Corona

by Richard K. De Atley

A Riverside County judge has temporarily sealed from public view the surveillance video that shows an off-duty Los Angeles police officer, who claimed he was under attack, fatally shooting an unarmed, mentally disabled man and seriously wounding his parents at a Costco in Corona in June.

The order, signed July 22, was sought by the Riverside County District Attorney’s office, which is conducting the criminal investigation of the shooting. The judge’s one-year order, which limits viewing of the video to law enforcement officials, begins with the day of the shooting, June 14.

Release of the video “would substantially interfere” with that investigation,  Riverside County Superior Court Judge Eric Keen wrote. He also cites the “graphic nature” of the video and “significant public attention to the shooting.”

“The criminal investigation is ongoing. We sought the court order because we do not want to taint the recollection of witnesses as to what happened that day by making the video public,” Riverside County District Attorney spokesman John Hall said Tuesday.

There was no immediate response to early-morning inquiries sent Tuesday to attorney Dale Galipo, who represents the family, or attorney David Winslow, who represents the LAPD officer.

Keen said release of the video before the investigation is done “reasonably could result in harm to the suspect, who is out of custody, and could interfere with the jury trial process in any potential subsequent prosecution.”

The order was discussed in a tweeted video update released Monday evening by the LAPD, which is investigating the case administratively.

The department’s policy requires it to release all relevant videos of officer-involved shootings within 45 days of an incident, department spokesman Josh Rubenstein said in the video. “However, a Riverside Superior Court judge has issued an order to not release the video to the public at this time,” he said.

The shooting by an off-duty Los Angeles police officer, Salvador Sanchez, killed Kenneth French, 32, of Lake Hills and left his mother, Paola French, and father, Russell French, seriously wounded.

Corona police detectives submitted the case file to the district attorney’s office in late June without a specific recommendation

Keen’s order says the video will be “kept in the possession of law enforcement and shall not be released to the public, the media, any witness or involved individuals, or for any other purpose, for one year from the date of the shooting.”

He said the video can be released after the criminal investigation, if no charges are filed, or at the conclusion of prosecution, if a criminal case is filed.

Paola French, left, and husband Russell French, bottom, were seriously wounded and son Kenneth French, top, was shot to death inside the Costco in Corona. (Courtesy of attorney Dale K. Galipo)

Winslow, the attorney for Sanchez has said his client was briefly knocked unconscious and fired his weapon when he came to to protect himself and his son.

Galipo described that account as “an exaggeration” and said that French’s father was shot while trying to explain to the officer that his son was mentally disabled. Kenneth French’s cousin, Rick Shureih, described French as a “gentle giant” who was “non-violent, non-aggressive, non-verbal.”

This story is developing, check back later for more details

All credit goes to Richard K. De Atley Originally published on https://www.dailynews.com

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