Things That Matter

Here’s What Is Going On With The LAPD Officer Who Filed A False Police Report

At the beginning of 2019, Empire actor Jussie Smollett famously reported that he had been the victim of a hate crime. About three weeks later, Smollett was charged with disorderly conduct and filing a false police report—it had been discovered that the attack was staged, and that Smollett himself had planned the whole thing. Although the charges against Smollett were dropped, he was all over headlines last year, earning a national reputation as a liar and ultimately being fired from his role on Empire.

In August of 2019, a similar situation arose within the Los Angeles Police Department, when a sheriff’s deputy falsely claimed that he was shot by a sniper outside the Lancaster police station. After days of searching for the alleged gunman, it became clear that Angel Reinosa had fabricated his story. He had not been shot, after all—instead, he had used a knife to create fake bullet wounds in his uniform, asserting that his bulletproof vest had saved his life.

“There were many things that didn’t add up,” said Sheriff’s Capt. Kent Wegener. No bullets had been recovered from the scene, and they had no leads on a suspect—they searched a nearby apartment building, assuming that the shooter was inside, but of course they found nothing.

But this didn’t exactly surprise investigators and colleagues, who were suspicious of Reinosa’s story from the very beginning. A number of sheriff’s officials told the LA Times that “his radio call about the incident was too calm even for a veteran, a hole in his shirt too big for the minor wound he claimed to have suffered.”

The LA Times also reported that by the end of the day that Reinosa made the report, the search for the suspected gunman had been halted. Homicide detectives, assisted by forensic experts, instead turned their attention to Reinosa. And by 9:30 PM, Reinosa’s involvement in the case was considered highly suspect. Not long after, he admitted to the police that he had fabricated the incident, though he didn’t reveal his motives for doing so.

In the case of Jussie Smollett, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a press conference that the motive for feigning the hate crime was fiscal in nature. He claimed that “Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career, because he was dissatisfied with his salary.” Folks have speculated that Reinosa’s situation was rather similar—it had to do with a certain dissatisfaction at work.

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said that sheriff’s officials had divulged details about Reinosa’s difficulties with his first year in the field. Typically, the first year constitutes a probationary training period that all deputies must complete before becoming deputies, and Reinosa was struggling to keep up.

“He was not advancing through the training program at an adequate pace,” Parris said. “There had been a lot of attention on him.”

And just a few days ago, Reinosa was taken into police custody when he was served an arrest warrant during a traffic stop. He was arrested for insurance fraud and for filing a false police report, and he was transferred to Los Angeles County Jail. His bail was set at $40,000, and unlike Smollett, Reinosa was not able to immediately settle his case with a payment.

Authorities say that the charges of insurance fraud are related to the workers comp claims Reinosa made after the incident. If he is convicted of these charges, he could face up to five and a half years in county jail.

As soon as authorities discovered that the shooting had been a hoax, they called an 11 PM press conference to address the situation. In an interview, Sheriff Alex Villanueva confirmed the desire to ensure that Reinosa’s actions were met with what they deemed the appropriate legal response.

“We are all appalled and disappointed. We took the deputy at his word at first,” Villanueva said. “We intend to hold the individual responsible for breaking the law and most importantly for betraying the community.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by authorities in Smollett’s case, as well as Smollett’s fellow Empire cast members. Lee Daniels, the creator of Empire, referred to the “pain and anger and sadness and frustration” that he and his cast endured, adding that he and his team “really [didn’t] know how to deal with it.”

He also said that Empire “was made to bring America together” and to “talk about the atrocities that are happening right now in the streets”—a message that was in direct contrast with Smollett’s actions.

The Lancaster sheriff’s website expressed a similar sense of disappointment, yet also emphasized the importance of community in situations like these:

“We are saddened by the outcome of the investigation, but are so grateful to our community for their cooperation on Wednesday and your ongoing support everyday. The actions of one individual are not indicative of who Lancaster Sheriff’s Station Deputies are.”

A 9-Year-Old Was Tragically Shot Four Times While Making TikTok Videos With His Siblings

Things That Matter

A 9-Year-Old Was Tragically Shot Four Times While Making TikTok Videos With His Siblings

Javonni Carson / GoFundMe

Javonni Carson, a 9-year-old boy from Atlanta, was making TikTok videos with his siblings when he was shot four times. The incident occurred last week, during a drive-by shooting that injured several other people.

Carson was shot four times in a drive-by shooting while he was making TikTok videos with his siblings.

Carson’s mother Keyona told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that her son was supposed to enter into the fourth grade this year and that he had been filming videos for TikTok with his siblings when the incident occurred.

Medical providers attempted to save his life during surgery for injuries that happened to his leg. According to Keyona, he is expected to recover. “My other two kids were there, too, and they saw everything,” Keyona explained. “Someone just drove by and started shooting… My 11-year-old said he was trying to crawl over to [Javonni], but there were already so many people on the ground.”

Keyona went on to explain that Javonni’s father rushed her son to the hospital and that she “didn’t know anything until I got to the hospital. I just knew he’d been shot.”

Two adults, who remain alive, were involved in the incident and were also shot according to an incident report.

According to the incident report, the shots were fired into a crowd in a parking lot, causing people to run and hide behind cars.

The shooter who was driving in the car has not yet been identified. Family members have set up a GoFundMe page to pay for Javonni’s recovery. According to the page which has  raised $8,749 out of its $20,000 goal, Javonni is an ” honor roll student at Deerwood  Academy also a striving football player and rapper he is loved by many because [of] his character and personality.”

“Thank for all the support for my family from families that don’t even know us and I send my own personal condolences to the other families that also felt this pain that no family should have to face,” the GoFundMe concludes. “Pray and Love on your families because they can be taken away at any moment.”

Transcripts Of George Floyd’s Death Find He Told Cops He Couldn’t Breathe More Than 20 Times: “Tell my kids I love them”

Things That Matter

Transcripts Of George Floyd’s Death Find He Told Cops He Couldn’t Breathe More Than 20 Times: “Tell my kids I love them”

Stephen Maturen / Getty

Over a month has passed since the death of George Floyd and while the aftermath of it seemed to spark a reaction that rattled those of us left behind to our cores, outrage over his death has slowed down. Likely you’re hearing less calls to end police brutality, seeing fewer signs that Black Lives Matter and most of your friends’ Instagram pages have likely returned to their usual blissfully ignorant states. Still, the fight for justice for George Floyd carries on and newly released transcripts of body camera footage show that Floyd had pled for his life and told officers at least 27 times that he couldn’t breathe before his death.

New transcripts from body camera footage of Floyd’s death have been filed in court.

Floyd (a truck driver, security guard, and father of five) told Minneapolis police officers over 27 times that he couldn’t breathe before he died. “I’m scared as fuck, man,” Floyd told the officers while they restrained them. “Tell my kids I love them. I’m dead.”

Transcripts of body camera footage show that Floyd told officers at least 27 times that he couldn’t breathe before passing out and dying.

“I can’t breathe for nothing, man,” Floyd told officers. “This is cold-blooded, man.” Ignoring Floyd’s cry for help, officer Derek Chauvin continued to pin Floyd down with his knee on his neck.

In the transcript, Chauvin can be heard saying to Floyd “Then stop talking. Stop yelling. It takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.”

“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe,” Floyd continued. “I’ll probably just die this way.”

The transcripts were filed by former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane in a move to have charges against him dropped.

Lane is one of four former police officers to be charged in Floyd’s death. Chauvin, Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao are also being charged. Lane, Kueng, and Thao have been charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin in Floyd’s death. Meanwhile, Chauvin faces second-degree murder charges.

According to BuzzFeed, “In the motion looking to have charges against Lane dropped, attorneys argue he was a new officer on the force and following the cues from Chauvin.” At the time of Floyd’s death, Chauvin was not Lane’s field training officer. He had however been one in Lane’s precinct and had provided the Chauvin with instructions on how to deal with calls. Attorneys have pointed out that in the transcripts Lane called paramedics to the scene and asked if they should roll Floyd on his side while he was holding onto his legs.

In the transcript, Chauvin says “No, he’s staying put where we got him.”

According to transcripts, after Chauvin passed out bystanders pointed out Floyd was unresponsive. Still, Chauvin pinned him to the ground.